Sebou Water Fund : WWF North Africa and TNC on an exchange visit in Kenya

The project for the Sebou basin in Morocco under the Outcome Action Plan on River Basins has the objective of ensuring the integrated management of the basin through the implementation of a Water Fund. The process for establishing the Water Fund has started in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), that has a successful case study in Kenya.

WWF North Africa/Morocco and TNC organized an exchange visit to Kenya as part of the Sebou Water Fund implementation. The aim of the visit was to learn about the Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund and raise awareness of Moroccan key public/private stakeholders on the importance of maintaining ecological integrity of the Sebou River Basin. The Moroccan delegation was composed of ministries, private sector, key actors of civil society and the media. The Nairobi Water Fund is the first of its kind in Africa, and has generated, in only five years, a vast array of benefits for people living in the watershed, for the residents of Nairobi and for all Kenyans.

WWF North Africa and their partners also had the opportunity to meet with Kenyan Water Authorities, who presented the successful implementation of the Environmental Flow in integrated water resources management – Biodiversity is considered in the Kenyan Water Act as a priority user. In Morocco, the aim of WWF is to register biodiversity as a user of water by integrating the Environmental Flow in the texts of application of the law 36-15. During the visit, both the board and the beneficiaries of the Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund were very welcoming and shared with the delegates their stories, successes and their experiences with sustainable solutions.

The main lessons learnt from this exchange visit are:

⇒ The Water Fund serves as an overarching platform encompassing all the water sector stakeholders and facilitating intra- and extra-organizational communication.

⇒ The Tap-Top solidarity approach (Downstream-Upstream) is highly recommended for the conservation of natural resources.

⇒ The engagement of public institutions is paramount in the implementation of Water Funds.

⇒ Nairobi Water users and authorities shape a single unit ensuring the conservation of ecosystem services.

⇒ The preservation of water resources require the existence of healthy ecosystems, rich biodiversity and appropriate legal frameworks.

⇒ Morocco’s basins require a similar mechanism to support integrated river basin and water resources management, and to contribute to the conservation of freshwater and its biodiversity, and the resolution of socio-economic problems.

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