Story of Change

Story of Change: Progress to deliver safe drinking water services to 100 million rural people by 2030

In 2021, REACH and RWSN led a global diagnostic survey to identify rural water service providers in 68 countries with interest or existing experience in results-based funding. Results suggested that up to 68 service providers in 28 countries could potentially provide results-based services to 5 million rural people. Subsequently, the Uptime Catalyst Facility has expanded results-based contracts for reliable water services serving 1.5 million rural people in 7 countries in 2022 to over 5 million people in 17 countries, including Latin America and India in 2024.

Story of Change: Building the next generation of water security leaders

The REACH programme is committed to supporting career development by Early Career Researchers, half of whom are women. 60% of first authors in peer reviewed publications from the REACH programme are ECRs. ECRs play key and active roles in research dissemination and policy engagement across the REACH focus countries. ECRs transitioning to leadership roles will facilitate and sustain REACH programme impact through their policy and practice networks, and increase women’s leadership in the sector.

Story of Change: Turkana Jet research unlocks new understanding of East African droughts

The strength of the Turkana Jet – a wind feature which carries water vapour from the Indian Ocean across East Africa to Central Africa – is underestimated in current weather and climate models. New observations of the jet by researchers from the Kenya Met Department, the University of Nairobi and the University of Oxford have been used as a benchmark for UK Met Office forecasting models for East Africa.

Story of Change: Open source tools and skills for climate information flows

Reducing barriers to sharing and making use of climate information is vital for climate resilience. In Ethiopia’s Awash Basin, REACH partners have been working together to build tools to facilitate the use of climate data from weather and streamflow gauging stations. Weekly collaborative coding sessions form a long-term capacity building interaction.

Scaling up results-based funding for rural water services

In 2016, a results-based funding model was developed to improve the reliability of rural drinking water supply services in Kenya. The Water Services Maintenance Trust Fund (WSMTF) has tested a professional service delivery model in two counties and attracted new sources of results-based funds to guarantee water services in rural communities. 

Participatory water resource management

A para-hydrology initiative in two regions of Ethiopia trained citizen scientists to collect quantitative data on rural hydrological systems. The data has been successfully used in several peer-reviewed studies to predict and assess the impact of sustainable land management interventions.

Protecting groundwater for climate resilience and water security in Turkana

In Turkana County, research by the University of Nairobi around Lodwar’s underlying aquifers is addressing critical data and knowledge gaps. Groundwater quality mapping indicates areas with poor groundwater quality to inform water infrastructure investments. This work contributing to new policy and practice to protect the Lodwar Alluvial Aquifer System and enhance resilience to climate risks.

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