Prof. Bancy Mati

Prof. Eng. Bancy Mbura Mati PhD, FIEK

Director, Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC) & Professor, Soil, Water and Environmental Engineering Department (SWEED) Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) P.O. BOX 62000 – 00200 Nairobi, Kenya

Academic and Professional Qualifications

Prof. Eng. Bancy Mbura Mati is the Director, Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC) and Professor at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in the Soil, Water and Environmental Engineering Department (SWEED). She holds a PhD degree from the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Food Production and Rural Land Use; Cranfield University of United Kingdom; an MSc degree in Land and Water Management and BSc degree in Agricultural Engineering both from University of Nairobi. She is a registered Consulting Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) and Lead Expert in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Short Course Certificates

Prof. Mati has also received extra specialized training in: Corporate Governance, Mwongozo Induction Programme for Boards of State Corporations, Leadership and Management, Contract Management, Facilitation & Skills Delivery, Academic Integrity & Plagiarism, Database & Metadata Management, Hydrometeorology, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Agricultural Carbon Credits, Regional Development Planning, Development Research, Grant Management & Governance, Monitoring & Evaluation, Remote Sensing and GIS, Environmental Impact Assessment, Natural Resources Management & Institutions and French.

Previous Career Experiences

Prof. Mati has previously worked with ICRISAT, as the Programme Manager of IMAWESA (Improved Management of Agricultural Water in Eastern and Southern Africa), an IFAD supported programme that covered in 23 countries in eastern and southern Africa. She has also worked with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and earlier with the Ministry of Agriculture in the Soil and Water Conservation Branch, at the Head Office in Nairobi.

Teaching & Research Duties

At JKUAT, Prof. Mati teaches and conducts research in the broad areas of Water Management, specializing in Irrigation & Drainage, Watershed Management; Rainwater Harvesting, Soil & Water Conservation, GIS, and Engineers in Society. She is the Coordinator of Students’ Research Projects, also supervises PhD, MSc and BSc research projects and represents the university at various national and international forums on water-related issues.

Research Coordination and Implementation

Prof. Mati has formulated, coordinated and implemented several research projects and publications of results. Currently, she is the coordinator of research projects which include; the Smart Water for Agriculture (SWA) project, the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund Project (UTNWF), the Osiligi Integrated Mother-Baby (Babywash) project, and the long-term System of Rice Intensification (SRI) research project. The list of her previous research projects is long. She has facilitated resource mobilization for research to support MSC and PhD research in the broad fields of Land, Agriculture and Water Resources Management. She has coordinated the development and promotion of collaboration and linkages with both local and international institutions, organized workshops, seminars and outreach programmes, promotion and dissemination of knowledge, networking and management of research funds and projects.


On innovation, Prof. Mati is credited with introducing to Kenya, a number of innovations including; (i) the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a technology for growing paddy rice which uses less water, and incredibly increase yields. Through this initiative, research, training and awareness creation, SRI has been adopted by thousands of farmers in Kenya and helped save irrigation water in five irrigation schemes (Mwea, Ahero, Bunyala, West Kano and South West Kano). (ii) Also pioneered fog harvesting in Kenya, introducing the technology through research at five experimental sites in the Ngong Hills, proving that it is possible to convert fog into drinking water, while the equipment collects both fog and rainwater effectively. (iii) In collaboration with SNV/Kenya, Prof. Mati has been conducting research in Meru County on use of Flying sensors, i.e. drones mounted with satellite tracking NIR and IR cameras to gather high resolution data for use by farmers as an early warning tool on crop stressors and performance. (iv) She has also facilitated the formation and functionalization of the National Irrigation Acceleration Platform (NIAP), a network of professionals engaged in the irrigation value chain meant to strengthen collaboration and linkages among the various stakeholders.

Consultancy and Development work

Prof. Mati is an active consultant and development worker, tackling water resources management, climate change, sustainable land management, irrigation, catchment management strategies, developing and assessing national and international policies and strategies and institutions, as well as workshop facilitation and project evaluation. She has been a consultant for several international organizations, among them; The World Bank, WBI, FAO, WFP, IFAD, AGRA, ICRAF, UNDP, NEPAD, Nile Basin Initiative/RATP, ILRI, IWMI, EAC/LVBC, RELMA, ASARECA, FARA, CCAFS, GIZ, Metameta, Gibb, WRMA, Camco/PREPARED, CTA, Matrix, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Swiss National Science Foundation and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR).

Leadership in Boards/ Organizations

Prof. Mati has served as Board member of several organizations at national and international levels. These include (currently) the Advisory Committee of the United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), the Advisory Board of the FogNet Alliance (FNA), the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK), where she is also Chair of the Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering Panels and the Steering Committee of the Kenya Water for Industry Association (KWIA). She previously served on the Board of the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) and as the Regional Focal Point (Africa), for the UNU-FLORES. She has been an Advisory Board Member of the Kenya Young Water Professionals (KeYWAP) and Chair of Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Water for Economic Development in Kenya. Previously, Prof. Mati has served on the Board of the Global Water Partnership (GWP), and as “Project Ambassador” in IWMI’s Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-AWM Solutions project. She has also served in the Advisory Board of the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance and has been the member of the National Task Force on Food Security in the Horn of Africa and a resource person at UNECA’s ACPC for the CCDA. She also served as Member of Council of the Institution of the Engineers of Kenya (IEK), was Chairperson of the Kenya Rainwater Association and Chair of the Greater Horn of Africa Rainwater Partnership.

Scientific Writer & Film Producer

Prof. Mati is an accomplished scientific writer, with over 140 publications in refereed journals, books, book chapters, training manuals, conference papers, workshop reports, research reports, Policy and Strategy documents and consultancy reports. Prof. Mati has produced a set of 9 documentary films on land and water management. In 2013, her documentary film on the SRI innovation won 1st prize in Africa, awarded by FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa). She has also made several Key Note Presentations at national and international forums.

Selected Publications (recent)

  1. Kathia, M.K., Mati, B. Ndiiri, J. and Wanjogu, R. (2019). Integrating Mechanical Weeding and Planting for Reduced Labour Input in Paddy Rice under System of Rice Intensification (SRI). Agricultural Sciences, 2019, 10, 121130. Available at:
  2. Mati, B.M., Kyallo, F.M., Kigomo, M.K., Ondieki-Mwaura, F., Githiri, S. and Nyangau, W.O. (2018). Resource Management for Resilient Livelihoods in the Arid Zones of Kenya: A Technical Manual for Resource Planners and Managers. Rural Resilience Programme, World Food Programme, Nairobi
  3. Ndiiri, J.A., Uphoff, N., Mati, B.M., Home, P.G. and Odongo, B. (2017). Comparison of Yields of Paddy Rice under System of Rice Intensification in Mwea, Kenya. American Journal of Plant Biology. 2017; 2(2): 49-60. doi: 10.11648/j.ajpb.20170202.12
  4. Mati, B. (2016). Water Conservation. In: mainstreaming ecosystem services and biodiversity into agricultural production and management in East Africa. Technical Guidance Document. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Rome; pp 57-74.
  5. Sang, J. K., Messo, J. R., Mati, B.M., Mutwiwa, U.M. and Ochieng, F. (2016). Dual Echo Sounder Bathymetric Survey for Enhanced Management of Ruiru Reservoir, Kenya. Journal of Sustainable Research in Engineering Vol. 3 (4) 2016, 113-118.
  6. Maloi, S. K., Sang, J. K., Raude, J. M., Mutwiwa, U. N., Mati, B. M., and Maina, C. W. (2016). Assessment of Sedimentation Status of Ruiru Reservoir, Central Kenya. American Journal of Water Resources, 4(4), 77-82.
  7. Recha J.W., Mati, B.M., Nyasimi, M., Kimeli P., Kinyangi, J.M., and Radeny, M. (2016). Changing rainfall patterns and farmers’ adaptation through soil water management practices in semi-arid eastern Kenya. Journal of Arid Land Research and Management. Volume 30, 2016, Issue 30, Pp 229-238.
  8. Mati, B.M. (2016): Report of the “Land Degradation Assessment in Kenya. Based on a Study of Land Degradation Assessment (LADA) with Remote Sensing and GIS, for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in Kenya” Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Sustainable Land Management Project (KASLMP); Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Nairobi. Mati
  9. Mati, B.M. (2016): Assessment Report: Overview of the Policy, Legislative and Institutional Frameworks for Sustainable Land Management in the Public Sector in Kenya. Kenya Country Report. NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). Midrand, South Africa & Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, Nairobi.
  10. Mati, B. 2016: Water Conservation. In: mainstreaming ecosystem services and biodiversity into agricultural production and management in East Africa. Technical Guidance Document. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Rome, pp 57-74.
  11. Mwega, B.W., Mati, B. M, Kyalo, J. and Kituu, G.M. (2015). Application of electrical resistivity method to investigate groundwater potential in Lake Chala watershed. Journal of International Academic Research for Multidisciplinary, Volume 3, Issue 7, pp 396-403.
  12. Ngonya, E., Mati, B.M., Locola, I., Lixia, R., Chessa, L., Altea, L. Rogerro, P.P. and Twomlow, S. (2014). Agricultural Land, Water Management and Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Climate Change and Smallholder Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Agriculture Status Report 2014. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Pp 52 – 75.
  13. Omwenga, K.G., Mati, B.M. and Home, P.G. 2014. Determination of the Effect of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) on Rice Yields and Water Saving in Mwea Irrigation Scheme, Kenya. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 6, 895-901.
  14. Kadyampakeni, D.M., Kazombo-Phiri, S., Mati, B. and Fandika, I.R. (2014). Impacts of Small-Scale Water Management Interventions on Crop Yield, Water Use and Productivity in Two Agro-Ecologies of Malawi. Agricultural Sciences, 454-465.
  15. Nyang’au, W. O., Mati, B. M., Kalamwa, K., Wanjogu, R. K. and Kiplagat L. K. (2014). Estimating Rice Yield under Changing Weather Conditions in Kenya Using CERES Rice Model. International Journal of Agronomy, Volume 2014, Article ID 849496, 12 pages.
  16. Mati, B.M., and Gitonga, W. (2013). Exciting Sites and Untapped Potentials of Embu and Mbeere: More than a Travel Guide on Unique Places in Kenya. Tosh Travel Solutions. 185 pp.
  17. Ndiiri, J.A. Mati, B.M. Home, P.G., Odongo, B. and Uphoff, N. (2013). Adoption, constraints and economic returns of paddy rice under the system of rice intensification in Mwea, Kenya. Agricultural Water Management, 129 (2013) 44–55.
  18. Mati, B.M. 2013. System of Rice Intensification Gains Popularity in Kenya. SRI, More Rice, Less Water. Baobab Magazine March 2013, Vol 66, pp 11-13.
  19. Mati, B. M. 2013. Participatory assessment and promoting fog harvesting for drinking water in the Ngong Hills, Kenya. A collaborative joint project by WARREC-JKUAT, POWER, KMD and Ped-World. A Training Manual. JKUAT.
  20. Nyamai, M., Mati, B.M., Home P.G., Odongo, B., Wanjogu, R. and Thuranira E.G. (2012). Improving land and water productivity in basin rice cultivation in Kenya through System of Rice Intensification (SRI). Agric Eng Int: CIGR Journal, 2012, 14, 2, 1-9.
  21. Enyew A., Akalu T., and Mati, B. 2013. Impacts of long-term soil and water conservation on agricultural productivity: The case of Anjenie watershed, Ethiopia. Agricultural Water Management, Volume 117, 31 January 2013, Pages 55–61.
  22. Ndiiri, J.A., Mati, B.M., Home, P.G., Odongo, B. and Uphoff, N. 2012. Comparison of water savings of paddy rice under system of rice intensification (SRI) growing rice in Mwea, Kenya. Vol 04 / Issue 6. International Journal of Current Research and Review (IJCRR) Vol 04, issue 06; 63-73.
  23. Mati, B.M. 2012. Enhancing Climate resilience through soil water technologies to increase agricultural productivity in semi-arid eastern Kenya focusing on Machakos and Makueni counties in Eastern Kenya. CGIAR’s Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Center (Research report).
  24. Mati, B.M. 2012. Coping with Agriculture Water Scarcity: Good Practices and Policy Options to Overcome Agriculture Water Scarcity under Climate Change Challenges. A Policy Brief for Eastern Africa. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Subregional Office for Eastern Africa. Addis Ababa.
  25. Mati, B.M. 2012. Runoff Harvesting for Crop Production: Practical Solutions for Dryland Agriculture. Training Manual 1. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP).
  26. Mati, B.M. 2012. Best Practices for Rainwater Harvesting from Open Surfaces with Storage in Structures. Training Manual 2. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP).
  27. Mati, B.M. 2012. Best Practices for Water Harvesting and Storage within Valleys. Training Manual 3. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP).
  28. Mati, B.M. 2012. Agronomic Practices for Water Management under Smallholder Rainfed Agriculture. Training Manual 4. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP). /Agronomic%20Practice%20Manual%204.pdf
  29. Mati, B.M. 2012. Soil and Water Conservation Structures for Smallholder Agriculture. Training Manual 5. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP). /Soil%20and%20Water%20Manual%205.pdf
  30. Mati, B.M. 2012. Developing Ground Water and Pumped Irrigation Systems. Training Manual No. 6. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP).
  31. Mati, B.M. 2012. Irrigation Best Practices for Smallholder Agriculture. Training Manual No. 7. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP) /Irrigation%20best%20practices%207.pdf
  32. Mati, B.M. 2012. In-Field Water Management in Irrigated Agriculture: Adaptable Best Practices. Training Manual No. 8. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme.
  33. Mati, B.M. 2012. Management of Waterlogged Agricultural Lands. Training Manual No. 9. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP).
  34. Mati, B.M. 2012. Participatory Operation and Maintenance of Irrigation Schemes. Training Manual 10. Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP). OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF IRRIGATION SCHEMES 10.pdf
  35. Mati, B. M. 2011. Best technologies and practices for coping with water scarcity in the Horn of Africa in the context of climate challenges. Background Paper on the FAO Workshop on: Best Practices and Policy Options for Coping with Water Scarcity in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, 24-25th November 2011. FAO Subregional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  36. Mati, B.M., Mulinge, W.M., Adgo, E.T. Kajiru, G.J., Nkuba, J.M. and Akalu T.F. 2011. Rainwater harvesting improves returns on investment in smallholder agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. In “Integrated Watershed Management and Improved Livelihoods : Upgrading Rainfed Agriculture”. SP Wani, J. Rockstrom and KL Sahrawat (eds). Taylor and Francis, 249-279.
  37. Mati, B. M., Wanjogu, R., Odongo, B., and Home, P.G. 2011. Introduction of the System of Rice Intensification in Kenya: experiences from Mwea Irrigation Scheme. Paddy and Water Environment. Volume 9, Number 1, 145-154.
  38. Amede, T, Awulachew, S.B., Mati, B., Traore, S. and Yitayew, M. 2011. Agricultural Water Management in the Context of Climate Change in Africa. African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Working Paper 9. Pp 32.
  39. Mwangi, H.M. M. Gathenya, J.M., Mati, B.M., Mwangi, J.K. 2011. Simulating the impact of land use change on watershed services in Sasumua watershed using SWAT. Applied Geoinformatics for Society and Environment Symposium held in Nairobi, 15 Aug 2011.
  40. Teshome, A., Enyew, A. and Mati, B.M.. (2010). Impact of water harvesting ponds on household incomes and rural livelihoods in Minjar Shenkora district of Ethiopia. Ecohydrology & Hydrology. Vol. 10: No. 2-4, 315-322
  41. Mati, B.M. (2010). Agricultural Water Management Delivers Returns on Investment in Africa: A Compendium of 18 Case Studies from Six Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. VDM Verlagsservicegesellschaft mbH,-. 280p. ISBN 978-3-639-11661-8.
  42. Muthuri, C.W. Ong, C.K. Craigon, J., Mati, B.M, Ngumi, V.W and Black C.R. 2009. Chlorophyll content, gas exchange and water use efficiency of trees and maize in agroforestry systems in semi-arid Kenya. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 129 (2009) 497–507.
  43. Mati, B.M. 2009. Improving the productivity of drylands through small holder interventions in agricultural water management in Eastern and Southern Africa: In: Lead Papers: International Conference on: Nurturing Arid Zones for People and the Environment. Jodhpur India (Arid Zone Research Association of India and Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur India. pp 111-128.
  44. Mati, B.M. 2008. Capacity development for smallholder irrigation in Kenya. Irrigation and Drainage. IRD 57(3): 332340. Wiley InterScience. Mati, B.M., Mutie, S., Gadain, H., Home, P. and Mtalo, F. 2008. Impacts of land-use/cover changes on the hydrology of the Mara River. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management. 13: 169–177. Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
  45. Mati, B.M., Siame, D. and Mulinge, W.M (editors) 2008. Agricultural Water Management on the Ground: Lessons from Projects and Programmes in Eastern and Southern Africa. Experiences shared by 15 IFAD-funded Programmes/Projects in Eastern and Southern Africa. IMAWESA Working Paper 16. Nairobi, Kenya
  46. Mati, B.M. (2007). 100 Ways to Manage Water for Smallholder Agriculture in Eastern and Southern Africa. A Compendium of Technologies and Practices. SWMnet Working Paper 13. Nairobi, Kenya.
  47. Molden, D., Frenken, K., Barker, R., de Fraiture, C., Mati, B. Svendsen, M., Sadoff, C and Finlayson C. M. 2007. Trends in water and agricultural development. In: Water for Food, Water for Life: A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. London: Earthscan and Colombo: IWMI, 57-89.
  48. Bossio, D. Critchley, W., Geheb, K., van Lynden, G. and Mati, B. (2007). Conserving land-protecting water. In: Water for Food, Water for Life: A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, London: Earthscan and Colombo: International Water Management Institute, 551-583.
  49. Peden, D.; Tadesse, G.; Misra, A.K .; Ahmed, F. A.; Astatke, A.; Ayalneh, W.; Herrero, M.; Kiwuwa, G.; Kumsa, T.; Mati, B.; Mpairwe, D.; Wassenaar, T.; Yimegnuhal, A. 2007. Water and livestock for human development. In Molden, David (Ed.). Water for food, water for life: A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. London, UK: Earthscan; Colombo, Sri Lanka: IWMI. pp.485-514.
  50. Nackoney, J., Mati, B., Mock, G, Henninger, N., et al 2007. Water. In: Nature’s benefits in Kenya. An Atlas of ecosystems and human well-being. World Resources Institute, Government of Kenya and ILRI; pp 25-41.