In Honor of World Water Day, Reputation Dynamics and Elevate Destinations Partner on Kenya: Water 2010

KenyamapJuly 10 - 20, 2010

Registration Deadline: April 15 View full itinerary

5% of Trip Cost to be Donated to NGO Partner Organizations

As citizens and companies are becoming increasingly aware, we are facing a global water crisis, which is consigning large segments of humanity to lives of poverty, vulnerability and insecurity.

In fact, the United Nations estimates that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will face periodic and often severe water shortages.

The UNDP Human Development Report argues that the scarcity at the heart of the global water crisis is rooted in power, poverty and inequality, not in physical availability of water.

In partnership with Elevate Destinations, Reputation Dynamics is offering an exciting opportunity for your company stakeholders (employees, customers, business partners) to understand the importance of water, as well as consider Kenya as an extension to your sustainability initiatives. Through conversations with local and international water experts, policy makers and NGO representatives, as well as project site visits, you will learn first-hand the significance of water for human, environmental and economic prosperity. 

Trip Overview:  Travelers will receive a comprehensive overview of the most important water-related challenges facing people in Kenya, and explore some of the innovative and effective solutions that have been suggested in response.

Participants will explore issues of environment, biodiversity, droughts, floods, transboundary water resources, sanitation and health, agriculture and fisheries, pastoralism, and other areas through a combination of activities: conversations with local experts, participation in daily activities, project visits, and tourism.

Paul Faeth, President of the coalition group Global Water Challenge based in Washington DC, will lead the tour.  Local experts will also accompany the group and add their own particular perspective on the issues of each region.

This trip is the first in a series of theme-based travel opportunities for global citizens wishing to understand and impact urgent issues.


  • Nairobi: Learn about water distribution and sanitation in informal urban settlements
  • Lake Victoria:  Explore the importance of integrated and transboundary water management for sustainable growth and development
  • Northern Kenya:Learn about the devastating effects of the recent drought in Samburuland, and examine ongoing mitigation strategies.
  • Maasai Mara:  Understand how deforestation has affected local communities, wildlife and the ecosystem

Partner organizations include Florida International University (FIU), Global Water Challenge; KickStart; the Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation (LVRLAC); the Kenyan NGO Maji na Ufanisi (Water and Development); the Ol Malo Trust; and the WWF, among others.

More information:

View full itinerary

For more information and to register for the trip, please contact Sam Taylor at Tel. +1 212 979 6092

Why is water important?

  • Water has always played a key role in economic development, and economic development has always been accompanied by water development.
  • Investment in water management has been repaid through livelihood security and reductions in health risks, vulnerability and ultimately poverty.
  • Water contributes to poverty alleviation in many ways – through sanitation services, water supply, affordable food and enhanced resilience of poor communities faced with disease, climate shocks and environmental degradation.
  • Water of the right quality can improve health through better sanitation and hygiene and, when applied at the right time, can enhance the productivity of land, labor and other productive inputs. In addition, healthy freshwater ecosystems provide multiple goods and services essential to life and livelihood.
  • Water and sanitation are among the most powerful preventive medicines available to governments to reduce infectious disease. Investment in this area is to killer diseases like diarrhea what immunization is to measles – a life saver.
  • Unclean water and poor sanitation have claimed more lives over the past century than any other cause.

Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2006; UN World Water Development Report 3

About Elevate Destinations: Founded in 2005, Elevate Destinations is a leading global sustainable travel company offering customized adventures to travelers seeking to explore and impact the environmental, socio-cultural and economic conditions of the places they visit. Elevate Destinations offers travel to Africa, India, Latin America and Southeast Asia, and organizes donor trips for both profit and non-profit organizations. Every Elevate Destinations trip benefits environmental preservation and community development.

Posted by Sam Taylor


Fast-Tracking Kenya’s Recovery….

It seems just like yesterday when my mother and I were driving to our home outside of Nairobi barely making the curfew deadline. Our heads were slightly ducked behind the car windscreen as my mother revved the accelerator past the security checkpoint.

In 1982, my family witnessed the devastating effects to a country and its people of a Kenyan coup d’etat attempt, which failed to overthrow President Daniel arap Moi’s government. On August 1, a group of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force took over the local radio station and announced they had overthrown the government. Sending Nairobi into utter chaos, about 145 people were killed and losses from widespread looting and destruction of property amounted to $111 million. My family was forced to hide out at home ‘on rations.’

Some parallels can be made between the ‘Hours of Chaos’ in 1982 and recent events surrounding President Mwai Kibaki’s disputed re-election, violence and deaths.

Of note, the poorest living in the slums of Nairobi and in rural areas, had all too little to lose in the violence and life for Kenyans once again more difficult.

The Kenya Presidential Elections of December 2007, are potentially the most damaging episode to national unity since the assassination of Tom Mboya in July 1969.

While there is celebration among select supporters for President Kibaki, the fear gripping the country is almost unprecedented in its 44 years of independence - as the Government and ODM continue to differ over the way forward for a peaceful settlement to the political crisis.

And, this is such bad timing for Kenya…..

Considered one of the most beautiful and more prosperous regions of Africa, Kenya has an estimated GDP growth of 6.7 percent and its unique landscapes, natural world and wildlife attractions brings in $900 million in tourism a year.

Kenya’s economy has been devastated by the violence and its reputation as a stable haven tarnished in a matter of weeks. As of 1/7, the economy was reported to have lost approximately $1 billion as a result of the post-election violence.

Some Perspective…

Kenya’s transition from dictatorship to democracy continues to be a tumultuous journey owing to its deeply rooted history in the political economies of colonialism, neocolonialism and neoliberalism. The country is further tainted by ongoing corruption and scandals under the rule of former dictators’ such as President Daniel arap Moi.

The first Kibaki government was elected in 2002 on a strong anti-corruption platform at a time when the country wanted a transparent government, justice brought to former corrupt officials and focus on economic development. While new corruption scandals occurred, the Kibaki administration delivered on the economy – jumping from 0.6% in 2002 to 6.1% in 2006. Despite its economy, Kenya still has some serious social issues and extreme poverty.

In 2006, the government unveiled Kenya Vision 2030, a development blueprint to turn Kenya into a newly industrialized ‘middle income country providing high quality of life for all its citizens by the year 2030.’

Kenya needs fast-track solutions to restore social harmony and aid recovery:

  • Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga enter negotiations to find quick resolution to end violence and restore peace to its people
  • More British and international intervention to help a humanitarian crisis
  • Contending parties agree to a binding independent and monitored investigation of the election results
  • Establish stronger anti-corruption platforms, transparent and accountable legal/government systems
  • A new parliament should be called into session with the new post of Prime Minister directly answerable to Parliament
  • Restore tourism and confidence
  • Corporations and NGOs/non-profits should align social, economic and environmental responsibility programs with causes in need

The country’s economy will continue to lose hard-won ground if the political situation is not resolved quickly.