To give its roadmap for the next five years, the Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC), launched its 2016-2020 strategic plan on 11th April 2017 at ICRAF hall, Gigiri Nairobi. The plan, identifies seven themes through which the Center will contribute to water sector growth. The themes include Infrastructure Development, Capacity Building and Outreach, Research and Innovation, Resource Mobilization and Support, Partnership and Linkages, Human resource development, and Extension and Technology Transfer. During the event, the Billion Dollar Business Alliance aimed at promoting rain water harvesting and management was also launched. The alliance brings together, the academia, private sector and the government, in promoting rainwater harvesting and management through the ‘the ‘Billion Dollar Business Alliance’ a vehicle created to increase per-capita storage of water from less than 100 cubic meters to a potential 7400 cubic meter by the year 2030.The Water and Environment Cooperation MoU with Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology and Kenya Rainwater Association was also launched during the event.
Speaking during the event, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Eugene Wamalwa who witnessed the launch of the plan and the MoU said research is crucial to the sustainable water resource management and development and commended JKUAT through its Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC) for the great efforts on water research. “I am pleased to have witnessed the launch of the strategic plan for WARREC and hope the plan will aid in developing effective policy mechanisms that facilitate the promotion and scaling-up of rainwater harvesting based on its proven potential and impact,” asserted the CS.
In her remarks, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, in a speech read by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, said JKUAT has many innovations and research initiatives beyond classroom teaching such as WARREC, which is mandated to conduct research, offer scientific advice, capacity building and knowledge management for the broad water sector issues. Prof Imbuga further stated that “As Kenya advances into a knowledge-based economy, JKUAT, through centers such as WARREC, endeavours to become a key element of the national technology and innovation system for both human capital and incubation centre for new businesses.”
Prof. Odhiambo giving a speech during the launch
Speaking during the launch, Prof. Eng. Bancy Mati, Director WARREC said that by launching its strategic plan, WARREC outlines its main focus that will enable it to grow into a center of excellence in water research, innovation and development. She called for integrated approaches so as to address the issues of water insecurity in the country.
The event was attended by the University of Nairobi, National Drought Management Authority, World Food Programme (WFP), World Vision, Southern and East Africa Rainwater Network (SearNet) Kenya Rainwater Association, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) Kenya Commercial Bank, G. North & Son, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Treasury