GWS-SENCE workshop in Kenya for deeper understanding of coastal groundwater

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On 15-19 April, the GWS-SENCE project team convened in Kenya for the annual workshop. Representatives from all three case study areas, Nigeria, Egypt and also host country Kenya, were present for this 5-day programme in which also IGRAC Director Elisabeth Lictevout participated. This workshop, held in Nairobi and Lamu Island. helped to gain deeper understanding of the challenges related to groundwater in coastal areas in 3 different contexts.

Project updates from the country teams

The workshop was kicked off in the capital city, where the group would stay for one day, before travelling to Lamu Island, Kenya’s case study area within the GWS-SENCE project. Two days and a half were dedicated to country presentations from the Nigerian, Egyptian and Kenyan team on the state of project implementation regarding groundwater resources assessment, socio-economic assessment and ecosystem assessment, but also communication planning, the remaining project activities for 2024 and, finally, the plans for 2025.

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Bessy (Kenya team) presenting during the workshop in Nairobi
Bessy (Kenya team) presenting during the workshop in Nairobi

Coastal groundwater context

A significant highlight of the visit was the expedition to Lamu Island, where participants embarked on a field visit to understand the intricate dynamics between groundwater systems, societal activities, and ecosystem health. The journey included a visit to a community well in Matondoni, where groundwater level and physicochemical parameters were measured. The group transected from the island's southern part als the way to the northern tip, observing mangroves, human settlements, agricultural areas and sand dunes along the way. Moreover, An infiltration test was implemented, and a rainwater collector installed.

IGRAC’s contribution to GWS-SENCE

Senior Communication Advisor Stefan Siepman joined the communication session online and contributes to the project (with IHE Delft) by supporting the storytelling focal points in the three countries. Elisabeth Lictevout took on the groundwater monitoring task. In general, IGRAC joined the project to build bridges between national and international level, and explore ways to scale up by producing materials that can be shared in other parts of the world with similar context and challenges.

This immersive experience deepened understanding of the unique challenges facing coastal groundwater resources across diverse contexts, enriching the project's collective knowledge base. Looking ahead, emphasis will be placed on nurturing established partnerships at the national level while fostering international collaborations to ensure the project's enduring sustainability.

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View on Lamu Island
View on Lamu Island