Position title
Water and Land Management Expert
Employment Type
Agriculture & Environment
Job Location
Nairobi, Kenya
Valid through
April 27, 2023

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.


Kenya’s fragile food systems are highly vulnerable to intersecting shocks. An unprecedented five consecutive failed rainfall seasons has led to the worst drought in 40 years. Climate change will continue to compound underlying conditions that affect the livelihoods of millions of food insecure and vulnerable populations in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), which comprise around 89 percent of the Kenya’s land area and 38 percent of its population. These include severe land degradation, erratic rainfall patterns, droughts and floods, over-abstraction of water resources, invasive species, and pest invasions. Precipitation is projected to remain highly variable and uncertain. At the same time, per capita water availability will decline, mostly due to population growth and overuse of underground water sources, which are particularly fragile in the ASAL counties.

Smallholder producers, agro-pastoral and pastoral communities in Kenya are particularly affected. Since most crops are rainfed, yields depend on water availability from precipitation. The use of irrigation remains limited due to poor extension services, lack of credit and technical equipment, and poor irrigation management. Climate change impacts are expected to intensify and will, coupled with rising demand for safe water for human consumption, livestock and agricultural production, place unprecedented pressure on Kenya’s natural resource base, increasing the likelihood of localized conflicts, displacements and urban migration.

Under WFP Kenya Country Strategic Plan (CSP) Strategic Outcome 2, smallholder producers,  food-insecure and vulnerable populations are targeted to benefit from more sustainable, inclusive food  systems and increased resilience to climate shocks to meet their food  and nutrition needs. With climate change increasingly acknowledged as key driver of food insecurity in Kenya by the government and other national partners, the Food Systems and Resilience Unit plans to ensure all its activities are tailored towards enhancing communities capacities to adapt to climate change and where possible also contribute to climate mitigation. This shift in mind set will be the cornerstone in the next WFP Kenya Country Office Strategic Plan (2023-27) – which is closely aligned with Government priorities and the Kenya 2022-26 United Nations Sustainable Development framework. Together with UNICEF, UNEP and other partners, WFP is one of the key actors in the design of the “Joint Programme on Water for Health, Food Security and Resilient Livelihoods”.  Under the current drought

The Water and Land Management Expert will lead WFP portfolio on integrated water and land restoration under the Resilient Livelihoods team, working closely with the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation and other partners, and represent WFP in the Joint Programme on Water.


Under the overall guidance of the Head of Unit, the “Water and Land Management” expert will work under the supervision of the Team Lead for Resilient Livelihoods and work closely with the climate advisor and market access and value chains focal point, field offices and field-based agricultural engineers. The incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Facilitate and ensure timely implementation of critical water infrastructure rehabilitation in response to drought in close collaboration with relevant WFP Nairobi and field-based teams
  • Design strategy for early recovery activities focusing on integrated water solutions targeting pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in the arid counties of Kenya – taking early warning and climate projections into account
  • Facilitate timely procurement processes coordinating between field offices (including agricultural engineers), procurement and other relevant teams in Nairobi
  • Ensure sound environmental management practices/guidelines are in place, monitored and reported on
  • Guide on strengthening community-based water governance and management practices across targeted counties
  • Strengthen existing monitoring frameworks to report on processes, outputs, outcomes of the rehabilitation work in collaboration with M&E, and support documentation of success stories
  • Represent WFP in water sector fora and act as liaison officer with the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation, Millennium Water Alliance and other relevant partners
  • Explore opportunities for the use of innovative technologies and solutions, including with the private sector
  • Co-design UN Joint Programme on Water for Health, Food security and Resilient Livelihoods and develop other water and land management related proposals


  • Water rehabilitation projects under current drought response finalized - meeting all donor requirements (including plans for continuous monitoring sustainability)
  • Early recover strategy designed
  • Integrated water for resilience project documented and success stories shared
  • UN Joint Programme on Water for Health, Food Security and Resilient Livelhoods finalized and at least two other relevant proposals developed

Education: Advanced university degree in one or more of the following disciplines: water and land management, agricultural engineering, environmental management, or a related field.

Experience: At least five (5) years of experience sustainable land and water management, either in private sector enterprises, in non-profit value chain related projects or research institution

Languages: Fluency (oral and written) in English and Kiswahili necessary; proficiency in other languages spoken regionally in Kenya is an asset.


  • Strong expertise in sustainable water, land and environment management (experience working as or with agricultural engineers is of advantage)
  • Excellent project management skills, including programme design, budgeting, procurement, implementation, monitoring and reporting skills
  • Experience working agro-pastoral/pastoral communities and organizations, and designing and implementing development projects, preferably in Kenya arid and semi-arid lands
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with public and private entities, planning and working together
  • Ability to work in a team and establish effective working relations across multi-functional teams as well as with a results-oriented private sector, research, think tanks and other key stakeholders
  • Solid operational skills, including creative thinking, problem solving, negotiation skills, meeting tight deadlines and working under pressure
  • Strong presentation skills and experience in public speaking of advantage.
  • Ability to frequently travel within the country
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