Thwake River which is located in Makueni County has been named as the recipient of the 2021 Thiess International prize.

In a statement seen by, on Thursday, October 28, the award organizers, the International River Foundation (IRF), stated that Thwake was recognized as the river of the year because of the initiatives that have been undertaken to preserve the water source.

Undated file image of woman washing hands from a water tap.
Undated file image of woman washing hands from a water tap.

“Congratulations to the recipient of the 21st Thiess International Riverprize, Thwake River, Kenya. The Thiess International River prize is one of the world’s most prestigious environmental awards,”

“The award alternates between the International River prize which is awarded every second year and a regional Riverprize bringing recognition to organisations who have achieved remarkable outcomes for rivers, river basins, and their communities,” read the statement.

“Their focus is on water conservation by harvesting and storing within seasonal river channels, through the construction of sand dams. Since its inception, the foundation has operated built 530 sand dams of which 125 are within River Thwake and its tributaries. This enables 795,000 community members to have access to water,” read the statement in part.

While receiving the award ASFD executive director, Cornelius Kyalo, could not hide his joy in his acceptance speech, stating the reward would help the organization in implementing its conservation programs.

Following the award, Kenya becomes the first African country to receive the award twice.

In 2013, Mara River was named as the recipient of the prestigious award, with a community-based group, Mara River Water Users Association, being recognized for their initiatives in conserving the river to combat waterborne diseases.

By Fred.