Water, Environment and Ecosystems

Prof. Daniel Olago. Current Head  ICCA Thematic Area - Water Environment and Ecosystems
Prof. Olago : Thematic Head Water Environments and Ecosytems

Prof. Daniel Olago is the current Director at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, and an Associate Professor at the Department of Geology, University of Nairobi. His research interests focus on Assessments of environment, water and ecosystems in relation to adaptation and climate resilience, Nature-based solutions for adaptation such as the interactions of groundwater, surface water, climate, environment, and human linkages with a special focus on eastern Africa. He has been involved in capacity strengthening in local, regional and international contexts for a diverse range of stakeholders, from grassroots, through management to policy-making groups and government agencies.

Daniel is Chairman, Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) Water Programme Steering Committee; Member, International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC); Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences; Fellow of the Geological Society of Kenya; Member, Kenya National Academy of Sciences. He is presently running projects that centre around (ground) water security in relation to climate change, sustainable cities, and development corridor programmes, as well as on the palaeoclimatology of the East African region.



The University of Oxford is collaborating with the University of Nairobi through the ICCA in the recently (2015) launched ‘REACH: Improving Water Security for the Poor’ research programme sponsored by the UK Department for International Development (DfID). The programme will run over a seven year period, covering selected regions/countries in Africa and Asia, and its main aim is to build and effectively communicate the knowledge needed to achieve and sustain water security for 2.5 million people. The project is being led by Dr Robert Hope of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment and in Kenya by Prof. Daniel Olago of the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Nairobi. The programme aims to answer the overarching question of how water security can be achieved sustainably at different scales in varying geographic environments for the benefit of the poor, focussing on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The programme takes a holistic approach focussing on the whole water system and brings together a spectrum of different disciplines to address these challenges.  The expected impact will be that efficient and sustainably managed water systems will support increased water security for up to 2.5 million poor people, whilst helping sustain and preserve water resources.  It is intended that the programme will deliver robust and accessible evidence on how to ensure sustainable water services for multiple users in developing countries at scale - evidence presented in a way that municipalities, rural water suppliers, governments, DFID and other investment/policy decision-makers can use to improve water security for poor people, and to better understand the costs-benefits and trade-offs associated with investment decisions. The result will be that as key policies and investment decisions are developed; they better take into account the water resources available and any impacts these decisions may have on other users.