Through a USD 50,000 grant, East African Breweries Limited PLC (EABL) has partnered with the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund Trust towards collaboratively supporting the conservation, protection and maintenance of the Upper Tana Watershed.
The Upper Tana watershed supports 95% of the water supply for Nairobi, which currently has a population of over 5 million people. It also generates 50% of the nation’s energy – hydropower.
The grant will go towards supporting farmers to plant more high value fruit trees that will aid in curbing climate change, while also providing food and additional income for the farmers. The funding will also go towards constructing more water pans and adding irrigation kits at the Upper Tana watershed which includes the Mt. Kenya and Aberdare ranges.
Speaking at the event, EABL’s Group Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Eric Kiniti, said the company was keen on creating a positive impact in the community and that the contribution capitalizes on collective action towards climate change mitigation.
“Water is of great value to our business, but we also understand that its value to communities is even greater. Reforestation is vital in supporting water systems thus the need to support tree growing programmes, as well as the protection of water catchment areas. This is why we are investing in upstream watershed conservation efforts, for the benefit of farmers, businesses and more than 9 million Kenyans who depend on the Tana River for their freshwater”. Mr. Kiniti said.
The Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund Trust is a public-private partnership working collaboratively throughout the Upper Tana watershed to solve a key challenge – water security for Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. The mission of the Water Fund is to support the long-term conservation, protection and maintenance of the Upper Tana Watershed thereby improving Nairobi’s water security and the function of hydropower facilities.
In October 2021, EABL provided a grant of Ksh. 5 million to the fund, geared towards supporting farmers with 15,000 high value fruit trees, 150 water pans and 35 drip irrigation kits. This went towards supporting conservation and sustainable management of Upper Tana watershed through promotion of sustainable land management (SLM) and integrated natural resources management (INRM) practices, thereby improving the livelihood of farming households while promoting watershed conservation.
During this engagement, farmers living with disability were prioritised to facilitate their access to water. Prior to the project, they were not able to cover the long distances in search of water and resorted to buying water at high prices.
With the support of EABL and the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund Trust, these groups have constructed rainwater harvesting pans, lined the water pans and installed drip irrigation systems. This ensures access to water for their farms and sustainable land management, thus enhancing economic empowerment.
The new grant will also benefit farmers with disabilities ensuring their continued inclusion in building the country’s economy.