Water Shortage Still a Menace in Kenya


Water Shortage Still a Menace in Kenya

By Korir Isaac / Published November 24, 2021 | 10:04 am

KEY POINTS

Many parts of the country experience water shortages and over 41 percent of the population still rely on poor water sources.

water supply

Kenya, over the years, have advocated and championed the need for water conservation and managing its use to avoid wastage. But to date, there is still no concrete action taken against the water shortage menace.

Many parts of the country experience water shortages and over 41 percent of the population still rely on poor water sources.

This figure represents over 20 million people who base their livelihood on water sources like rivers, ponds and wells. A majority of other people living in both rural and urban slums also use water from unimproved sanitation solutions.

This sheds a light on the sorry state of water and sanitation crisis that has been a part of Kenya for a while. The country has been experiencing severe water crisis and still, many Kenyans have no hope for piped water, let alone reliable water sources.

Several factors have been attributed to the sorry situation and global warming is one of them. This has led to recurrent and threatening droughts as well as floods. Most of the water sources in the country are also contaminated.

Investment in water sources is another factor that has enhanced water shortage. Too much focus on politics and negligence on the sector continues to affect millions of Kenyans.

In 2018, the government gazetted 70 water towers to be developed across it counties, which is a bold and a positive move. However, these projects remain empty promises.

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Sometimes, the country experiences heavy rains that flood the streets, drainage, and almost any depression. It doesn’t take a bright mind to realize that if this water is harvested and treated, it will go a long way in addressing the issue of water shortage, especially in urban centers.

The issue coincides with another problem; most urban centers in the country face, drainage systems. Nairobi, for one, still uses drainage systems from decades ago. The often-flooding roads bear the testimony and the impact of Nairobi’s creaking drainage system.

Sadly, these floods collect all types of wastes that litter the dark corners of some parts of the city and sweeps through slums making its residents predisposed to several water-borne diseases. Ponds, wells, and other raw sources of water become a hub for spreading disease. Apparently, the health risk is almost everywhere in the country.

Experts have always warned that water pathogens are a huge health problem in Kenya, but negligible progress has been realized so far. People have been left unprotected against sporadic epidemics such as cholera and parasitic worms.

The rate of exposure is extremely high because the water is not only contaminated at the basins and pumps where water is collected but the containers are almost always recycled, often previously used for oil, fertilizer or wastes.

Several steps have always been put in place to ensure the problem is kept at bay, where it goes wrong, nobody knows.

There is a belief that the government doesn’t have sufficient funds to address the water issue together with its supply and sanitation across the country.

One thing is clear, though, the acts and reforms the government has put in place seem to have even worsened the case as Kenya still suffers from a water crisis worse than almost any other in the world.

More water reservoirs for the collection of rainwater, need be constructed. The same case goes for the laying down of proper drainage systems if the sanitation problem is to be addressed.

On that note, people in areas hit by drought need better water sources. This goes to confirm that there should be national action plans that can effectively handle and deal with the water shortage problem once and for all.

About Korir Isaac

A creative, tenacious, and passionate journalist with impeccable ethics and a nose for anticipated and spontaneous news. He may not say it, but he sure can make one hell of a story.

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