Of all the countries in East Africa, Kenya has been at the forefront of many innovative technologies to capture the scarce rainwater that large parts of the country receive. For domestic needs, for instance, roof water tanks provide a quality source of water during the dry seasons when water resources are scarce. For agricultural communities, the country knows many success stories on the large-scale uptake of terracing and other water buffering measures.
In other words: Kenyans are quite experienced in harnessing the benefits of the rains, be it for personal use or in order to increase crop production when water is a limiting factor to crop growth. Most of all, though, Kenyan organisations have been key in the development of innovative technologies like sand dams, subsurface dams and rock catchments. Local media and the public acknowledge the important role of certain features of the natural environment (like big forest complexes) in water buffering.
From the 1950s onward NGOs and governmental organisations recognised how Kenya’s Arid and Semi Arid Lands (together comprising almost 80% of the country) required an approach that made the most of the scarce rainfall the country receives. Projects on rainwater harvesting have produced and innovated technologies that make smart use of the landscape’s natural features.