The 6th IASTED African Conference on
Environment and Water Resource Management
AfricaEWRM 2016

September 5 – 7, 2016
Gaborone, Botswana


Issues in Implementing Environmentally Sound Technologies: Lessons from the Horn of Africa

Prof. Bancy Mbura Mati
JKUAT, Kenya


The Horn of Africa (HoA) is defined as comprising eight (8) countries, namely; Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. When Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania are included in the grouping (11 countries), the region is then described as the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA). The eight countries that comprise the HoA cover an area of more than 5 million km2, holding a population of over 220 million people, 70% of whom depend on agriculture and/or pastoralism for their livelihoods. The HoA countries face natural and socio-political issues that make news for all the wrong reasons. For instance, the HoA is among the most food insecure and water stressed regions in the world, with over 40% of the people being chronically undernourished. This is partly because over 60% of the land area in the HoA is covered by desert, semi-desert, arid and semi-arid zones. Moreover, water insecurity is another threat occasioned by arid environments and poorly developed infrastructure. Drought, degrading environments, conflicts over water and grazing resources, as well as general insecurity pose major challenges. There is a certain amount of pessimism regarding the pace of economic development in the region. However, despite these challenges, much progress has been made over the last two decades in tackling some of these problems, particularly water and food security, such that people have continued to survive, even thrive, in this region. But such positive information rarely makes the news.
This paper therefore examines the major issues in implementing environmentally sound technologies on water resources management in the HoA. It traces these issues through historical and contemporary perspectives. It identifies not only the challenges but also the progress made by HoA countries adoption of water management technologies and practices and the socio-economic and policy contexts. It identifies the technologies that have worked for improving (rural) livelihoods and supporting ecosystem resilience in the Horn of Africa.

Biography of the Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Portrait

Prof. Bancy Mati is an expert on land and water management with vast experience in Africa. She holds a PhD degree in Rural Land Use and GIS from Cranfield University, UK, MSc in Land and Water Management and BSc in Agricultural Engineering, both from University of Nairobi. Prof. Mati is currently the Director, Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC) and Professor at JKUAT in Kenya. She has previously worked with ICRISAT, as the Programme Manager of IMAWESA, promoting best practices for agricultural water management in 23 countries in Africa. She has been a consultant for international organizations including; the World Bank, FAO, IFAD, AGRA, ICRAF, ILRI, IWMI, EAC/LVBC, IGAD, UNDP, LWI, NBI/NELSAP, ASARECA, WRMA and MENR among others. She has held leadership positions in several professional organizations and Boards, including GWP, IEK, EBK, KRA and currently, WIB and NBA. Prof. Mati is an accomplished scientific writer, with over 120 publications and has produced a set of 9 documentary films on water management, one of which won 1st prize in Africa in 2013, awarded by FARA. She is an articulate speaker and champion of best practices on water management and development.