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Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Kenya

Ministry of Water and Irrigation

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation was a department in the Ministry of Agriculture until 1974. After 1974, the Ministry was constituted and remained thus till 1992 when it Was merged with other departments to form the Ministry of Land Reclamation and Regional Development. After 1998, the Ministry was merged to form the Ministry of Water Resources.

In 2001 during a major merger of government Ministries and departments, the Ministry of Water Resources was merged with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

In January 2003 through the Presidential Circular No. 1 / 2003, the Department of Irrigation and Land Reclamation and the Department of Water were brought together to form the Ministry of Water Resources Management and Management. The creation of the Ministry consolidated the responsibility for the management and development of water resources, Irrigation, Drainage and Land Reclamation in one docket. In September 2004 through Presidential circular No. 1/2004, the Ministry was renamed the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

In May 2013 through Executive Order No. 2/2013 the Ministry of Environment Water and Natural Resources (MEWNR) was established and mandated to undertake protection, conservation and development of environment and natural resources for sustainable development. In 2013, the government, in line with the Constitution, rationalized the portfolio, responsibilities and functions of all the ministries and other government agencies. Consequently, the Ministries of Environment and Mineral Resources, Forestry and Wildlife, Water and Irrigation and Regional Development were merged to form the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

In April 2015 Ministry of Environment Water and Natural Resources (MEWNR) was once more split to form the current Ministry of water and irrigation, giving recognition to the crucial role played by the irrigation sub-sector in national development.

Strategic objectives of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation

  • Accelerating the implementation of water sector reforms
  • Improving the sustainable management of water resources
  • Improving the provision of water and sewerage services
  • Improving utilization of land through irrigation and land reclamation
  • Strengthening institutions in the Ministry and the water sector
  • Mobilizing resources and promoting efficiency in their utilization
  • Improving the management and access to water resources information

Departments in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation


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The Ministry’s administration department is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Ministry within the policy guidelines provided by the Government.

Water Services

The Water Services Department in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation is headed by a Director and has the following five Divisions:

  1. Design and Planning Division
  2. Construction Division
  3. Operation and Maintenance Division
  4. Mechanical and Electrical Division
  5. Water Services Development Programmes

The Department derives its mandate from Executive Order No. 2/2013 on organization of Government.

The mandate of the water services department include:-

  • Safety of hydraulic structures
  • Quality Assurance of design works
  • Developing of Water Development Master Plans
  • Developing, updating water and sewerage designs and construction standards;
  • Advisory role to all other Government Agencies on construction of water and sewerage systems
  • Capacity building of the County Governments
  • Policy formulation
  • Development of Water and Sewerage strategies
  • Supervision and coordination of water services subsector institutions
  • Monitoring and evaluating the impact of investments
  • Coordination of water services development Programmes
  • Resource mobilization
  • Facilitation of development support from development partners
  • Coordination of sanitation issues

Water Resources

The Water Resources Department in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation is headed by a Director and has the following five Divisions:-

  1. Trans boundary waters
  2. Ground water
  3. Surface water
  4. Water Quality and Pollution Control
  5. Research
  6. Water rights

The mandate of water resources department include:-

  • Water Resources Management Policy & strategies
  • Trans boundary waters management and policy
  • Water resources assessment; groundwater and surface water
  • Water quality and pollution control
  • Domestic Water quality surveillance
  • Coordination of water resources research
  • Registration and licensing of water professionals and contractors

Water Storage and Land Reclamation

The mandate of the water storage and land reclamation department include:-

  • Formulation and development of water storage, land reclamation policies, strategies and programmes
  • Implementation of appropriate land rehabilitation and reclamation policies for improved land use and productivity
  • Setting and enforcement of engineering standards and guidelines for feasibility, dam design, construction and operation and maintenance of dams and flood control infrastructure
  • Capacity building, extension, training and preventive services
  • Research, innovation for appropriate ASAL development

Irrigation and Drainage

The mandate of the irrigation and drainage department include:-

  • Formulate and review national irrigation policy and strategy in collaboration with the County Governments and other relevant stakeholders
  • Oversight and coordination to irrigation sub-sector entities and agencies
  • Collaborate and liaise with other agencies involved in irrigation development at local, regional and international levels
  • Formulation of sub-sector regulations, standards and guidelines in collaboration with the county Governments and other relevant stakeholders
  • Capacity building, coordinate technology and research development for the sub-sector
  • Formulation of National projects and programmes in collaboration with County governments and other stakeholders.
    Resource mobilization and financing of the sub-sector
  • In consultation with County governments , develop a National Irrigation Master plan, Investment plan and respective Strategic plans
  • Establish a national Irrigation and Drainage Management Information System (IDMIS)
  • Monitoring and evaluation of irrigation sub-sector performance
  • Undertake regulatory function for the sub-sector including conflict resolution mechanisms to deal with irrigation disputes
  • Support in building the capacity of Irrigation Water Users Associations in consultation and collaboration with the counties and other stakeholders
Ministry of Water and Irrigation Kenya

Ministry of Water and Irrigation Kenya

Water Boards – Ministry of Water and Irrigation

  • National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation
  • Kenya Water Institute
  • Athi Water Services Board
  • Rift Valley Water Services Board
  • Tana Water Services Board
  • National Irrigation Board
  • Tanathi Water Services Board
  • Coastal Water Services Board
  • Lake Victoria South Water Services Board
  • Lake Victoria North Water Services Board
  • Northern Water Services Board
  • Water Resources Management Authority
  • Water Services Trust Fund
  • Water Services Regulatory Board
  • Water Appeals Board

Ministry of Water and Irrigation Management

Cabinet Secretary: Eugene Wamalwa
Principal Secretary: Fred Segor (National Water Services)
Principal Secretary: Patrick Nduati Mwangi (Irrigation)

Ministry of Water and Irrigation Contacts

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation
Physical Address: Maji House, Upper hill, Off Ngong road,
Postal Address: P.O BOX 49720 – 00100
City: Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +254 020 2716103, 4900000
Fax: +254 020 2727622

Ministry of Water and Irrigation Video