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Water Pans for Sustainable Farming

25 farmers will access water allowing constant food production from their kitchen gardens for consumption and selling to the local market, making their livelihoods more sustainable.
  • Local solution

    Practical training of a farmer’s group of 25 farmers on how to harvest, use and conserve water. This will enable year-round availability of water for their kitchen gardens, leading to increased sustainable food security, economic independence, and reduction of poverty.

    The Kagwe farmers from Limuru Kenya have been supported by COSDEP before in the Kitchen Gardening project. In this project water challenges were one of the most highlighted problems by the farmers. Although the total annual rainfall in these areas may be sufficient to sustain farm needs for a season, it is often unevenly distributed. When it rains, a high proportion of the water is lost through run off or leaching which causes soil erosion and loss of soil nutrients.

    COSDEP will support the farmer group with constructing the water pans, installing a solar pump and irrigation pipes to enable them harvest run off and rainwater for kitchen gardening.

    Water pans are a water conservation technique that aims to maximize the available water through water harvesting. It harvests runoff water and direct it to the water pans, hence preventing soil erosion and keeping the water where it falls. It will ensure that there is a constant supply of water for farming through the water pans.

    The use of water pans has many advantages. They are cost effective, low in maintenance and easy to operate.

    The group members will now have green farms and water throughout, even during dry seasons.

    Lives improved

    25 farmers will each have a water pan installed, which enables them to farm all-year round at little to no costs after the installation.

    The farmers save time fetching water, save costs of buying water or for electricity when pumping water, and have more produce because they don’t rely on the raining season only. This will increase their income: having more healthy food on the table (at least three meals a day) and by selling surplus at the local markets, especially during low rainfall seasons, when the prices are higher. It is expected to see incomes sustainably increased with 25% during dry seasons.

    Ultimately, all farmers have a sustainable produce and income all year round.

    125 family members will benefit from the increased income.

    Community impact

    Since the farmers will upscale the project so that crops will be sold and supplied to the communities. In addition, the water storage will contribute to their resilience in the face of climatic shocks.

    Altogether, this will enhance food security and economic independence. Ultimately, poverty rates will be greatly reduced.


    With a budget of KSh 828,947 (or €6,513) COSDEP will carry out the following activities:

    • Train the beneficiaries on the importance and appropriate ways of harvesting run off and rainwater; and how to use water sparingly, store and possible recycling for maximum utility, costs include transport during training and training materials.
    • Ensure that every recipient has a water pan for water collection, by constructing water pans with them, installing a solar pump and irrigation pipes. The water pans are 9 m by 6 m (length and width) and 3m deep with a capacity of 50,000 cm3. Costs include the purchase of 25 dam liners, solar water pump, and labour costs.
    • Coordination and communication costs.
    • Follow ups and an endline survey
    • 5% to iMPACT direct for facilitating direct donations to local solutions (which helps to cover costs of the website, promotion and proposal writing, costs if financial services and the support to NGOs).

    COSDEP’s own contribution totals Ksh 86,500 (or €680) including:

    • Staff facilitation during training
    • Training martials
    • Input materials

    The farmers’ contribution totals Ksh112,500 (or €884), including:

    • Labour to construct the water pans
    • Tools and equipment, including the cover top.
  • Local solution realised
    Lives improved
    Community impact realised


  • “Before COSDEP facilitated me in acquiring and installing a water pan in my farm, I was not able to do farming throughout since there was never enough water to do so. I have also been suffering from the effects of soil erosion from run-off water, mostly during seasons of heavy rains. This had over the years reduced my farm’s soil fertility since erosion carried top fertile soils and deposited in other places, thus production was not effective and my family experienced food insecurities due low food production. Nevertheless, after the installation of the water pan, I have been able to increase my farming area and production has increased since the volume of irrigated water has increased which is a great joy for me.”

    Mr. George Mburu from Limuru Sub County
  • “The benefits I have been able to experience includes, being able to be food secure at my household level and at least make an income from the sale of surplus thus improving my family’s living standards as compared to the days I was depended on rainfed agriculture for farming. And I have also been able to save time and money that I used previously to purchase water and put it into other uses around my homestead”

    Mr. George Mburu from Limuru Sub County

    Project Details

    • Project
      Water Pans for Sustainable Farming
    • Campaign
    • NGO
    • Location
    • Sustainable Development Goals
    • Start date
      July 1, 2022
    • End date
      July 31, 2023
    • Total amount raised
      € 311
    • Lives improved
    • Community iMPACT

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    Since 2001 Community Sustainable Development Empowerment Programme (COSDEP) focuses on ensuring continued learning and practice of agro-ecological agriculture in rural communities for improved food and dietary conditions. COSDEP is already working with farmers in two counties namely, Kiambu and Murang’a and aims to cover the entire Central region of Kenya in the future.

    Project in Pictures

    Project location Water Pans for Sustainable Farming