Rehabilitation of the Northern Water Pipeline

Published: 06 November 2019
Last edited: 06 November 2019

We have identified clean water access as a key goal. Clean water access for humans, livestock, and wildlife will prevent wildlife-related injuries and deaths. In September 2012 IFAW conducted research and helped the county secure funding to rehabilitate the Northern Water Pipeline, which supplies water to communities living in the north of Amboseli. When the project is completed by the end of 2019, it is expected to reliably provide water to 300 homesteads, 3,000 people, and more than 6,000 herds of livestock. By rehabilitating the pipeline, the project ensures availability and sustainable management of clean water and sanitation for the Maasai community, and thus, reducing human-elephant conflict due to water access.


Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Planning phase
Inception phase

Enabling factors

Participatory community engagement has led to trust within the community for IFAW and the project. Therefore, in-depth participation of community members in the project has allowed for social sustainability. In addition, after substantial investment in education and capacity, the project largely is run by community members who now have the skills to maintain and expand the infrastructure and initiatives. Because of the local capacity, benefits are clearly outweighed by costs. 

Lessons learned

A challenge that the project ran into, in particular, was the lack of infrastructure, equipment, and training. Therefore, the project made it a priority to build capacity within the village to build (i.e. the community service center), repair (i.e. the Northern Water Pipeline), or otherwise manage any of the interventions. A lesson that we learned is that it is always better to build capactiy within the community. In our example, not only do local community members now have additional skills they can use on other projects, they have a sense of ownership and pride.