The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) recently announced a grant of US$1.6 million to The Nature Conservancy’s Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund to support upstream water and soil conservation initiatives.

The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund is a public-private partnership that was launched in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2015, and was the first water fund that The Nature Conservancy has developed outside Latin America and the United States. The pioneering fund uses innovative financial mechanisms to protect and preserve watersheds on which Nairobi’s economy and its citizens depend.

In recognition of TCCAF’s continued commitment to the Upper-Tana Nairobi Water Fund, and in celebration of World Water Day celebrated on March 22 2017, Dr. Susan Mboya remarked; “We are pleased to extend our continued support to the Water Fund in partnership with The Nature Conservancy through an additional investment of $1.6 million US Dollars (KSh 160 million) through our flagship Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN). We strongly believe that water funds are an effective mechanism to bring all upstream and downstream water users and stakeholders together, towards the shared purpose of conserving the health and vitality of the watershed.” 

This RAIN project aims to improve water service delivery and reliability for up to 600,000 individuals in Nairobi and provide skills development training for up to 16,000 people. The Nature Conservancy works with businesses, water authorities, and farmers to identify key watersheds in the Upper Tana River Basin watersheds that were crucial to conservation and initiated restoration efforts working with TCCAF's grants. 

The Upper Tana River basin which covers approximately 970,000 hectares, is home to 5.3 million people and supplies 95 percent of water for Nairobi’s 4 million residents. It also feeds one of the country’s most important agricultural areas and provides half of Kenya's hydropower output. With Nairobi contributing 60 percent of the country’s GDP, the Tana River truly fuels Kenya’s economic growth.

The Nature Conservancy’s Kenya Country Director, Munira Bashir, said TCCAF's investment would blaze a trail that other companies would follow. "The Nature Conservancy is convinced that the way to tackle some of the gravest environmental and economic challenges we face is by the private sector, government agencies, and conservation scientists to work together. This is a prime example of the success of such collaborations, and we expect many more corporates to join in now. We are very grateful for The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation's contribution to Africa's first Water Fund," she said. 

This is the second contribution made by TCCAF, with an initial contribution of approximately US$ 207,000 (20.7 million Ksh) announced in 2015 during the launch of the ‘Nairobi Water Fund’.