It doesn’t rain much in Kenya. In fact, rainfall often comes just twice a year in a few weeks of extremely heavy downpour. To prevent drought and food scarcity, it is essential to make the best use of that water.

Projects in Kenya

What’s the status and potential of rainwater harvesting in Kenya?

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.


What’s an example of such a technology ?

For instance, sand dams were developed to buffer water in the seasonal sandy rivers. A dam partially blocks the flow of water and sand, and creates a large body of sand piling up behind it. When it rains, this body of sand is saturated with water that is free of waterborne diseases and is often ready to drink. The natural runoff from roads and hills has also been harnessed by directing the runoff flow into ponds or tanks.

These technologies make sense under conditions of drought. It is more than wise to capture the water when it is flowing, storing it for future use. The success of these projects can perhaps best be measured by the way the sand dams are now being propagated outside Kenya by Kenyan organisations.

Learn more: contact RAIN at

Project list
Freshwater Ecosystem Functionality in Kajiado
This project builds on the gains achieved and lessons learnt while implementing a programme titled “Enhanced Rainwater Harvesting for Multiple use through Low Cost Technologies” supported by RAIN
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Rain Water harvesting for MUS
The proposed action shall be implemented in Kitui South Sub-County of Kitui. It lies under the MMF livelihood zone which as its name suggests, receive marginal rains. The region has a bimodal rainfall
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This information will soon be available
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MetaMeta under the KWA program
This information will soon be available
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Enhanced Rainwater for MUS
This information will soon be available
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Promoting rain4food through SEARNET
RAIN foundation and SearNet work on the areas of rain water harvesting (RWH).The Rainwater Harvesting Implementation Network (RAIN) is a global network, which focuses on global implementation of RWH s
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Ukambani 3R learning mission
This information will soon be available
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Introducing 3R in impact areas of DWA
Kenya is one the eight countries where the Dutch WASH Alliance Program is working. The program focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene components in Kajiado district. In this region, it mainly focuse
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Feasibility Study for Rainwater Harvesting
According to the ministry of water and irrigation, about 30% of the households in Kajiado are estimated to have limited access to potable water. Namanga and Mashuru districts are not endowed with dive
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Institutional Strengthening of SearNet
In order to appreciate the contribution of rainwater harvesting to improved access to water and sanitation, it will be necessary to map the extent to which RWH interventions have been implemented in K
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Sufficient and safe water should be available to everyone
How do we make that happen? We offer 3 key Rainwater harvesting services:
RAIN Implementation RAIN Intelligence RAIN Advice

Our motto “Rainwater belongs to everyone” is made operational for food security, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH), climate change adaptation and resilience building. RAIN understands the power of rainwater and how to harvest and use it effectively on a catchment level.

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Want to know more about this service please contact RAIN:

Telephone: +31 (0)20 58 18 250
Barentszplein 7
1013 NJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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