Adoption of rainwater harvesting as a sustainable approach to improving the climate resilience of small landholders in Kenya

Kristin Mutschinski, Neil Coles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The African Water Vision 2025 emphasized the disadvantages of the rural population in the context of water supply infrastructure, water management, and access. The vision extolled the virtues of providing improved decentralized governance and localized actions to deliver on this agenda. Furthermore, policies and investment should support climate resilience, by strengthening the security and availability of adequate water quality and quantity in rural communities, for example, by mainstreaming the adoption of rainwater harvesting systems. This is reflected in the government policy alignment towards enabling a devolution of responsibilities to regional and local political structures, while addressing concerns linked with water availability, climate change, and its impact on a country’s water resources in Kenya. Despite efforts through different strategic plans and policies, there is a perceived gap between the general understanding of the importance of the RWH system at the national level and actions at the operational level in the counties. An absence of formal policy frameworks and coordination of investments has resulted in insufficient adoption and implementation of RWH systems in Kenya to date. This is despite the fact that in some counties, RWH systems are considered a key solution for increasing climate resilience and suggestions for improvement have been formulated by the affected communities. This analysis shows that RWH systems strengthen the resilience of rural populations but are dependent on a well-formulated governmental structure, which could be improved by refining national policies and investment in RWH systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-928
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Water Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

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