In India, Dr. Rajendra Singh and the Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS) organization have worked for decades to restore the watersheds of Rajasthan. Known as ‘the waterman of India,’ Dr. Singh has helped bring water to thousands of villages by building river dams to conserve rainwater. His strategies and projects have helped to restore vegetation, increased rainfall, and helped to recharge groundwater in the region. His success in this more arid part of India suggested that this strategy could work in regions with similar climates.
Habaswein, in northeastern Kenya, is arid, with little water for anything to grow and a population dependent on the land. Mukhtar Ogle, a secretary of strategic initiatives and advisor to the President of Kenya, comes from this area. In February 2020, Mr. Ogle gave a keynote on environment and security at Asia Plateau, the Initiatives of Change (IofC) conference center in India. He also visited Grampari, a rural development NGO inspired by IofC, pioneering work in watershed management, and heard more about Dr. Singh. ‘Bring this to Kenya,’ said Ogle, ‘and we will transform the region.’