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Protecting and Conserving Water for Agriculture

Lutheran World Relief enhanced crop production for farmers in arid Eastern Kenya by:

  • Supporting the sustained availability of water for productive agriculture
  • Promoting production of drought resistant crops as well as crop diversification
  • Strengthening the capacity of farmer associations to respond to recurrent water crises and better serve their members


LWR’s work in the Makindu River catchment since 2008 has improved communities’ food security and reduced the impact of recurrent drought.

In previous interventions, LWR reached more than 21,300 people through cash-for-work programs, increasing incomes by up to 400%, which enabled families to address their immediate food needs. A rehabilitated irrigation system, including two intake weirs and over 18 km of irrigation pipeline, are also now promoting sustainable use of water by nearly 300 farmers.


  • Improved water infrastructure for agricultural use for 88% of targeted households.
  • Enhanced crop production for more than 200 farmers through irrigated farming and improved farming techniques.
  • Facilitated household and agricultural water access with 6 solar-powered water pumps.
  • Improved soil through construction of 81 km of terraces and 4,042 water retention structures.
  • Increased water availability as a result of the construction of 6 sand dams, which increased dry season spring flows from 400m to 2,000m.
  • Protected water resources through planting of 16,873 seedlings.
  • Enhanced horticultural production in 56% of households.

Securing Water for Agriculture

LWR improved sustainable water availability to support food production and lucrative horticulture value chains by:

  • Promoting soil and water management practices to protect water resources.
  • Constructing and renovating irrigation infrastructure to increase soil capacity to store water from rainfall and ensure efficient water use, which improves crop yields.
  • Building community infrastructure, such as subsurface dams and
    shallow wells, to improve water capture and storage of seasonally-available water.
  • Using solar-powered pumps to draw water for consumption.
  • Facilitating community member payment for water use via
    mobile money transfers.
  • Building the capacity of local associations in conservation and natural resources management.