The Thika River in Kenya is struggling with immense industrial and agricultural pollution and erosion. Over the past decades, the water quality has deteriorated so rapidly that the water beetle ('Njururi'), which once thrived in significant numbers in the river,, has vanished completely.
Our Blue Deal partner, the Water Resources Authority in Kenya, is tasked with enhancing water systems. However, it’s evident that no one can anticipate a water authority resolving such issues alone. Smart collaboration with stakeholders is the solution. Isn’t this similar to the challenges that water systems face in the Netherlands?
Future Design Basecamp
To find a solution for the crisis in the Thika River system, we mobilized all problem holders in the ecosystem and conducted a three-day Future Design Basecamp to deliberate the state of the Thika River and come up with an action plan to ‘bring Njururi back to the river’. This was a serious undertaking, but it also included a lot of singing, dancing and reflective discussions.
Six months after the Future Design Basecamp, several kilometers of river stretch have been restored, and local communities have taken ownership for implementing further actions.