River Nyando Wetlands Conservation Project

About the project

Whereas it is common knowledge that the Nyando River Basin is one of the most degraded of all the river basins in the Kenyan portion of the Lake Victoria Basin, minimum efforts have been made to develop a suitable Management Plan, let alone any sustained initiatives that would minimize the escalating degradation of these biodiversity-rich wetlands. The over-dependence of the local community on the wetlands resources, wide-scale human degradation, coupled with the recent lake water receding, has placed the wetlands in a more precarious footing in the area.

According to Kenya government statistics, over 70% of the population living around the Nyando River wetlands live below poverty level (<US$ 1.00),  making them to over-exploit and degrade this fragile ecosystem. Further, the divergent communities, local institutions and stakeholders (governmental or otherwise) that surround the Nyando River Basin have varied perceptions on the symbiotic relationships between wetlands ecosystems and their daily activities.  This Project will illuminate and avert these misconceptions, in a manner that will enhance sustainable management and wise use of the wetlands resources. By developing a community-based blue print on the Wetlands Management Plan, the Project will create synergy amongst all stakeholders and fully involve them in co-management of the wetlands and thereby improving the livelihoods of the local poor and ensuring “benefits for all”.

The Project provides suitable examples in which support from the UNDP will demonstrate appropriate management and delivering results in community development interventions that target both poverty alleviation amongst the poor communities and protection of fragile ecosystems in the Southern Lake Victoria Basin (LVB), Nyando River wetlands and the flood prone Kano/Nyakach plains.

UNDP is the UN’s global development network responsible for partnering with countries to develop and share solutions to development challenges. The UNDP provided seed money to KDC in March 2018, following which the Wetlands Project has realised many tangible milestones. This pilot initiative has generated much interest among the riparian communities and demonstrated successes that need to be replicated and up-scaled in other areas of the Nyanza Gulf such as the Kuja River basin and Oluch-Kimira wetlands in Rachuonyo while at the same time improving the capacity of the communities in the Nyando River wetlands to better manage wetlands, mitigate and adapt to floods and cope with adverse effects of Climate Change in the area. This has been  made possible —and will continue to be realised–through the following interventions:

  • Improving income generating activities among the wetlands communities of Nyando and the Southern Lake Basin;
  • Rehabilitating  new degraded  Wetlands sites in the wider Southern Lake Basin;
  • Mainstreaming Climate Change adaptation agenda among the Lakeshore wetlands communities;
  • Integrating flood mitigation and adaptation activities in collaboration with the Lake Victoria South Water Resources Management Authority  and J.I.C.A;
  •  Mainstreaming gender awareness in the rehabilitation and conservation of the wetlands
Start Date
End Date
Programme Officer
Aloyce Mulware
USD 210,000.00
Delivery Volume
USD 206,116.29 (2019)
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Lake Victoria South Water Resources Management Authority, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA)
Japan Government, Kenya Government, UNDP.

Conservation & Management of Kenyan Coastal Forests "Save the Mangroves"

About the project

The new product, Kenya Sensitivity Atlas and its GIS database is taking advantage of technology advancement to provide the much needed support in effective decision process for management of the Marine and Coastal Area of Kenya. The principal approach here is the move from static atlas to a GIS electronic atlas.The development of the atlas by Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) is an integral part of the National Marine Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NMOSCP). It provides an environmental data dictionary to be utilized as a tool in risk assessment, clean up prioritization as well as in selection of appropriate methods and tools of response.

The problem of oil spill response can be complex if a decision has to be made in short timelines of less than one day as is often the case. The knowledge of the spread and distribution of natural resources along the Kenyan coast would be quite challenging to a command center grappling with operational and political pressure from various sectarian interests all seeking satisfactory response during a spill incidence. In order to arrive at objective compromise decision, information must be available in a speedy manner. It is in this spirit that the KENSEA Environmental atlas was launched at the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute on January 1st, 2019.

The GIS datasets include information on environmental parameters and socio-economics data along the coast of Kenya thereby providing vast opportunities for secondary use. Information has been used to generate hard copy and electronic maps showing the degree of sensitivity to oil spill.
This product is part of the Kenya Government’s policy on poverty alleviation whereby the Government ensures it has contingency plans and resources in place to combat disasters such as forest fires, floods, drought and oil spills threatening to ruin the natural resource base which provides income to its citizenry.

In addition the atlas represents the Government of Kenya’s efforts in fulfilling its obligations with respect to various conventions on prevention of pollution including the International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution by Ships (MARPOL 73/78), the Safety of Life at Seas (SO LAS), the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response Cooperation (OPRC90), the Civil Liability Convention (CLC92) and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPC92). This product therefore represents a significant step by UNDP towards support for conservation of our vital marine resources.




Start Date
End Date
Programme Officers