WRUAs embracing business model approach to sustain conservation activities

Published on
July 20, 2016

Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) and Community Forests Associations (CFAs) in the Mara River basin have faced persistent challenge of implementing activities from their Sub-Catchment Management Plans (SCMPs) and Participatory Forest Management Agreements (PFMPs) with limited resources and a dependency on volunteers.

Wageningen UR and SNV have delivered a training to the management of six WRUAs and three CFAs on the subject of business modelling for conservation mechanisms. Participants were met with exercises with regards to their organisation and to their ideas for conservation by introducing water wise commodities. The training had a highly participatory character where they developed their process flow charts, strategies, revenue models and their own business model through a business model canvas. Participants are now able to appeal to beneficiaries of conservations or development organisations through a clear value proposition in order to finance conservation mechanisms for the improvement of water quality and quantity in the basin.

WRUAs selling their water wise commodities

On 14 July the WRUAs have kicked off their meetings of sensitisation for the uptake of water wise commodities in their basins. Amala WRUA started with their sensitisation meeting for their business model on the sale of avocado seedlings in order to promote tree coverage in the area. The WRUA had calculated that with six of these meetings in a year they would be able to cover their costs if they would target on the sale of 458 seedlings per meeting. They were able to bring 63 of their members together in order to pitch their value proposition to them. The meeting was joined by members of the management and high profile members of their community. After the meeting they were able to add 30 new members to their subscription list (fees were paid on the spot). Forty seedlings (20 avocado and 20 other varieties) were tried and all were sold. Furthermore the WRUA was able to generate an order list for 3,008 seedlings proving that their business model was viable with a return of investment of less than one year.