County Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Officer

Mercy Corps

Samburu, Kenya 🇰🇪

Job Details


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program

With funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Mercy Corps’ Nawiri Program is leading a consortium of Kenyan and international partners on a five year journey to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition in Turkana and Samburu Counties of Kenya. Through a phased approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation, the program takes a robust county-centered design with government leadership, active engagement from communities, the private sector, and civil society. Mercy Corps’ consortium brings together global leadership, research capacity, technical expertise, and implementation experience to partner with local institutions to test, adapt, and scale evidence-based solutions to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu counties. Together we will sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu counties.

The Position

The County Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Officer will provide program implementation support to county and Nawiri’s efforts in creating a stable and nutrition enabling environment, through improving institution coordination, community level watershed planning and water resources management strategies. He/she will collaborate with county government, consortium partners, local CSOs and community to deliver effective, participatory activities and efficient processes to address water resources risks, including long-term water stresses that constrain social and economic development with a view of building ecosystems resilience. He/she will provide a collaborative planning with county, Water Resources Authority (WRA), communities and other stakeholders to develop and implement Multiple-Use Water Systems (MUS) and interventions to augment local sources of supply through intervention such as climate proof water harvesting technologies and managed aquifer recharge whilst strengthening existing community-based water tenure arrangements to ensure interventions are woven into the fabric of local institutional arrangements for managing water resources.

Essential Responsibilities


  • In a joint-planning and agreed upon targeted approach with Samburu County, communities and other stakeholders, identify suitable approaches and locations for implementation of integrated water resources management initiatives and approval of the same;
  • Develop detail implementation plan aligned with USAID Nawiri’s overall Water Resources management strategy, works schedule and ensure tracking of the same for timely projects delivery;
  • Collaborate with county and other stakeholders to enhance resilience of the green and blue water economy and overall water sector by ensuring access to and efficient use of water for agriculture, domestic, livestock, and other productive uses;
  • Foster cross-sectoral policy approach in undertaking IWRM initiatives and the understanding that water resource is an integral component of the ecosystem, a natural resource, a social and economic good to enhance enabling environment for reduction in persistent acute malnutrition (PAM);
  • Support Nawiri efforts in development and implementation of multiple-use/purpose water systems (MUS), ensuring collaboration and incorporation with other Nawiri sub-sectors – domestic water supply, agriculture, livestock, private sector and climate smart for inclusive implementation approaches;
  • In collaboration with county and other stakeholders support Nawiri efforts in development and implementation of climate proof water harvesting and water storage infrastructure to increase affordable water harvesting-based to enhance livelihood activities;
  • Collaborate with county, national institutions such as Water Resources Authority (WRA), community level institutions such as Water Resources Users Association (WRUAs), Water Users Association, Utilities, Ward Planning Committees in strengthening their capacities and operationalizing their plans towards natural resources management efforts and climate change adaptation;
  • Works with county and WRA to establish WRUAs and capacity build WRUAs in development of Sub-Catchment Management Plans (SCAMPs) and ensure operationalization of the same;
  • Work collaboratively with Nawiri team, county and other stakeholders in promoting sound environmental protection strategies to foster economic growth and sustainable livelihood activities within Nawiri county areas of operations;
  • Implement projects as planned according to developed technical standards, schedules timelines and budget;
  • Ensure the water resources management initiatives conform to sound relevant technical design and assessments such as hydrogeological and feasibility surveys before implementation;
  • Ensure stakeholders such as county and communities are involved at all the project phases (identification, design, implementation, and monitoring) for enhanced ownership, accountability and oversight;
  • Work and collaborate with local water utilities in development of water safety plans;
  • In the exceptional case of highly technical projects, organize a competitive bidding process to select the most qualified and cost-effective contractor as well as provide prudent management of the contract certifying quality of the works delivered;
  • Oversee acquisition of any materials needed through a competitive and transparent bidding process following the Mercy Corps’ procurement policies and procedures for such purpose and together with the county team ensures that they are safely stored up until their utilization;
  • Keep detailed technical records and inventories of all IWRM developed and implemented activities and ensure the same is documented at county and community level;
  • Develop and maintain harmonious relationship with partner organizations, line ministries and audience groups. This includes planning activities and coordinating closely with the greater Nawiri consortium partners and other USAID Programs;
  • Monitor project implementation, document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated;
  • Regularly visit field activities to assess progress and provide formal and informal feedback;
  • Compile and provide comprehensive project activities report;
  • Perform any other roles and responsibilities as may be assigned by Management


  • Work collaboratively with all key stakeholders to develop and maintain good relationships, explaining USAID Nawiri roles when in liaising with County and communities during all phases of the program implementation;
  • Work collaboratively with all USAID Nawiri overlapping and cross-cutting thematic areas such resilience, SSBC, Gender, Youth and Social Dynamics (GYSD), institution and systems strengthening, environmental safeguards, Learning, Research, WASH, monitoring and evaluation among others, to ensure coherence and integrated contribution to USAID Nawiri program purpose areas;
  • Ensure coordination and linkages between relevant county sector areas for multi-sectoral approach to natural resources management;
  • Work collaboratively with USAID Nawiri program monitoring and learning team to ensure key learnings and lessons are capture to heighten program adaptation;
  • Support collaborative partnerships with other county development partners to identify potential opportunities for leverage and linkages;
  • Engage with program quality and monitoring team to ensure CARM is integrated in all Nawiri IWRM initiatives;


  • Assist Field Director to coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs;
  • Support the facilitation of planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to revise plans and promote partner acceptance/buy-in;
  • Ensure close coordination and sharing of information with relevant stakeholders such as local government departments, NGO’s and local authorities, as appropriate and advised by the line manager;
  • Represent Nawiri in relevant events at county level in close coordination with Nawiri Field Director, County WASH Engineer, Water Systems Advisor and Nawiri management team; 

 Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: USAID Nawiri’s Water Systems Advisor on technical oversight and with dotted line to Field Director on administrative and coordination oversight.

Works Directly With: Technical leads/advisors, Senior Environmental Safeguards Officer, learning and monitoring team, Field Director and team, County WASH Engineer, consortium partners’ staff, M&E Coordinator, field level finance and operations teams.

 Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • A BSc degree in water resources management, climate change, Integrated Natural Resources Management, Environmental Sciences, Forestry, Agro-Forestry or other related fields from recognized University or Institution;
  • At least three years of progressively working in IWRM or disaster risk reduction management, climate change mitigation and adaption, environment and natural resources management with International NGOs or local government;
  • Previous experience in working with WRA and WRUAs in water resources conservation measures and planning desirable;
  • Extensive knowledge of community participatory approaches, disaster risk reduction, recharge, re-use and retention (3R) concept desirable;
  • Broad knowledge of supporting an integrated and comprehensive approach to biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, or climate change in address nutritional challenges;
  • Knowledge of the concepts, principles, techniques and practices of IWRM, environment and/or climate change;
  • Broad knowledge and understanding of emerging sustainable and appropriate IWRM technologies;
  • Previous experience working on USAID grants is desirable;
  • Excellent and persuasive oral and written communication skills, including report writing;
  • Previous working experience in Arid and Semi-arid Land (ASAL) counties is desirable;
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members;

 Success Factors

S/he will combine exceptional proactive aptitude in terms of planning and coordination with different stakeholders, teams, county institutions while maintaining cordial and diplomatic relationships with different stakeholders at county, sub-county and community levels. The post requires a target oriented and problem solving aptitude with ability to multi-task, prioritizing activities and simultaneously having an attention to detail with a strategic broad vision.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Samburu County requiring up to 75% field visits to IWRM related and cross-cutting activities and projects sites, local utilities, and county relevant department office and forums;

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

 Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Deadline for receiving applications is 6th April, 2022

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  

Mercy corps does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process