2030 SDGs

Rapid Integrated Water Assessment in Ten Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) Counties, Kenya

Photo: Lake in Kenya. Source: Canva

The Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) Counties are home to 36% of the population, 70% of the livestock, and 90% of the  wildlife of Kenya. Safeguarding the health and economic development of this region and achieving increased water security requires improving the quality and availability of water in a way that does not exceed sustainable limits. The sustainable management of this vital resource is challenged by a variety of natural and socioeconomic conditions: from droughts and floods to excessive demand and competing governance structures. 

UNEP-DHI supported the Technical Committee for Water Security in the ASAL regions of Kenya with a rapid integrated assessment of water resources in 10 target counties. The project’s aim was to identify the opportunities and challenges to building water security and to inform future interventions supported by the UN and other relevant actors.

The project was conducted as a desk study, drawing on data submitted by the counties and members of the Technical Committee and UNEP Regional Office for Africa, as well as supplementary data obtained from internet searches and freely available Earth observation data. Data was assessed across four broad categories: governance, demography, water resources, and risks

Projected total annual water run-off and percentage water use in target counties in 2030. While most regions are projected to have an annual surplus of water in 2030, the Tana River, Garissa, and Lamu counties will likely experience a water deficit due to proposed irrigation development.

Key outputs:

The project makes 9 high-level recommendations across three broad areas: improvement of physical infrastructure, governance arrangements, and data. In addition, acknowledging that the scope of recommendations is limited by the lack of sufficient data, the project also highlights key gaps requiring further investigation


UNEP Regional Office for Africa


For more information on this project, please contact Lisbet Rhiannon Hansen, Programme Advisor at the UNEP-DHI Center via  lrha@dhigroup.com

Further material:

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UNEP-DHI Centre on Water and Environment

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