By Millicent Mwololo
Kenyans had little to rejoice even because the World Water Day was marked two weeks ago, provided that drought has been ravaging many elements of the nation, which relies heavily on rain-fed agriculture.
“This is probably where we have gone wrong. A country that has been independent for more than 50 years should be having alternatives when it comes to drought mitigation,” says Mr David Mwaura, the communications officer at Africaqua Ltd, which runs a water venture in Loitokitok in Kajiado County. “Resources should be pumped into sinking boreholes and irrigation schemes in different parts of the country.” says Mr Mwaura.
The theme for this yr’s World Water Day is “Wastewater” and focuses on methods of decreasing and reusing wastewater since greater than 80 per cent of all of the wastewater from houses, cities, business and agriculture flows back to nature, polluting the setting and dropping worthwhile vitamins and other recoverable supplies.
“This calls for innovation in water treatment and storage techniques,” says Mr Paul Owino, a water researcher and the operations director at His Therapeutic Hand Africa, an organisation that advocates for the sustainability of protected water, latrine use, and handwashing in communities.
Sustainable Improvement Aim 6, Making certain the supply and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030, features a goal of halving the quantity of untreated wastewater and growing water recycling and protected use. Initiatives like building dams and water pans for harvesting rain water will go a great distance in slicing down wastage.
“But it is necessary to do our homework before setting up the schemes to avoid allocating funds to worthless projects,” argues Mr Mwaura. Mr Owino agrees, saying that the sustainability of boreholes and other water infrastructure must be addressed before the government sinks extra assets into water tasks: “Water projects consist of soft and hardware aspects, but in most cases the government and private organisations place emphasis on the hardware. They tend overlook the fact that the soft aspect (training, education, monitoring and evaluation) is equally important to achieve sustainability,” he says. “We cannot afford to keep appealing to the international community for relief food. It is something that no one with a sound mind can justify. It is a big shame.”
In Oloitoktok, for example, the group has been using water from trenches, which they share with wild animals, says Mr Owino, whose organisation runs a undertaking within the space. This exposes the group to water-borne illnesses. Kajiado County is about 30 kilometres from Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, which makes the water gradient very steep. That signifies that sinking boreholes within the area could be very costly. Its proximity to the mountain additionally make sure that it receives good rainfall which, mockingly, causes flooding.
It’s, subsequently, necessary that the government spend money on various water sources, says Mr Owino, who he is operating a water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) challenge. Earlier than embarking on the Oloitoktok challenge in January, 2016, Mr Owino carried out a needs evaluation locally.
“I engaged the local community, local health centres, and teachers. That is when I discovered that the water used in homes was drawn mainly from trenches, which were shared with wild animals,” he says. With the failed rains, these trenches dried up months ago, as did seasonal rivers.
“This means that the residents cannot achieve basic hygiene and sanitation levels,” he notes. That’s the reason he situated the WASH challenge in at Namelok ABC Main and Secondary Faculty in Namelok Village.
“Handwashing with water and soap can help reduce the chances of contracting preventable diseases by 50 per cent,” he says.
In 2015, Mr Owino carried out a analysis on the state of water, sanitation and hygiene as a element of free main schooling (FPE) in Maseno Division, Kisumu County. He discovered that there have been insufficient WASH amenities to help the programme. Most of the academics interviewed felt the government did not give precedence to WASH in faculties, and most academics and faculty directors had inadequate information of WASH.
Consequently, the research really helpful that the Ministry of Schooling and different related ministries work together to increase WASH awareness and sensitisation by means of workshops and seminars for academics, and to adequately practice faculty directors and academics on the subject.
It also beneficial that the federal government improve the budgetary allocation for FPE to cater for WASH and develop effective monitoring instruments on how funds are used.
“The government should ensure that all schools have a functional WASH policy document and monitor the implementation at the grassroots level,” Mr Owino says.At Namelok Main Faculty, Mr Owino and his colleagues educate the pupils on why they need to wash palms, find out how to do it and why they should drink clean water.
They then sank and rehabilitated a 75-ft borehole, installed 25,000-litres storage tanks, dug gutters, installed a photo voltaic pump and protected water remedy and hand washing stations with soap.Additionally they introduced a WASH club where learners share their experiences and why hygiene and sanitation are essential. “The project is integrated and includes a permanent water source that is shared by the two schools in order to promote health and hygiene effectively,” he says.
The only challenge is that the challenge did not receive 100 per cent help at house.
WATER HYGIENE TRAINING
“Even though we have trained and sensitised the community, without sufficient water supply, it is difficult to maintain quality hygiene and sanitation at home,” Mr Owino provides.Nonetheless, the undertaking has realised some outcomes.
“There has been improved health among the students, with teachers having noted an increase in class attendance, increased concentration in class and improved academic performance among pupils,” he says.Mr Daniel Saning’o, the headteacher of Namelok Main Faculty, says that because the installation of the storage tanks, protected water and sanitation amenities, the varsity setting has turn into more conducive to studying.
In August 2016, the government launched a Sh50 billion challenge to make sure that all faculties within the country have protected water. The pilot tasks of this formidable enterprise have been launched in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties, where 50 faculties are targeted.
“This will reduce water-borne diseases among school children. We have to partner with innovative safe water solutions to save lives,” stated Water and Irrigation CS Eugene Wamalwa. In accordance with Unicef about 1 million youngsters underneath five may die this yr from preventable water-borne illnesses.
“Most of these could be saved through grassroots water hygiene training, which is why the government and the private sector have to partner to make water easily accessible,” says Mr Owino.
The water shortage in Oloitoktok can be attributed to the excessive inhabitants progress; with the county bordering Nairobi, there’s an influx of immigrants from the town, which has overstretched the few water assets.
Last yr, Africaqua piloted its first water in Africa in Oloitoktok. Mr David Kuria, the company’s CEO, stated the One Protected Drop Initiative in Oloitoktok might deliver 20,000 litres of unpolluted consuming water per day to the residents of Kimana.
Nevertheless, the residents are concerned concerning the pricing. A 25-litre jerrican goes for Sh50 on the Africaqua water shop, which the native pastoralists say is prohibitive.
More than 80 per cent of the wastewater generated by society flows again into the ecosystem with out being handled or reused. (Sato et al, 2013).
Sustainable Improvement Objective 6 – Making certain the supply and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 – includes a goal to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and improve water recycling and protected use.
The quantity in cubic metres of annual renewable freshwater supply per capita in the country in the present day
The quantity in cubic metres of annual renewable freshwater supply expected in 2025
Entry to improved protected water provide within the nation
Entry to improved sanitation
Per capita supply forecast to say no
KENYA IS CLASSIFIED AS a water-scarce country as a result of it has an annual renewable freshwater provide fee of 647 cubic metres per capita, which is approach under the worldwide commonplace of 1,000 cubic metres.In response to the WHO/Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme 2014 report, entry to protected water provide throughout Kenya stands at 59 per cent, and access to improved sanitation at 32 per cent.
This means there’s nonetheless an unmet want for each water and sanitation.Water assets in Kenya are simultaneously scarce by pure endowment and underdeveloped in the present water provide techniques. The nation faces challenges in water provision, with erratic climate patterns up to now few years causing drought and water shortages.
As well as, the inhabitants progress has meant that water continues to be scarce. It’s estimated that by 2025, the nation’s per capita water availability shall be 235 cubic metres per yr, compared with the present 647 cubic metres.
City migration is a serious contributor to challenges in sanitation, as individuals crowd into cities, whose progress is unregulated. For example, in massive urban centres like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret, residents expertise common water shortages on account of inadequate provide.
Because of lack of entry to water and sanitation, especially within the country’s arid and semi-arid areas, diarrhoea is the second killer — after pneumonia —nof youngsters beneath the age of 5 (excluding neo-natal mortalities). Water-, sanitation- and hygiene-related sicknesses and circumstances are the number one reason for hospitalisation in youngsters under the age of 5.
In the meantime, access to wash water and sanitation contribute to time financial savings for ladies, more hours in class for women, and fewer health prices.
Initiatives like His Therapeutic Hand Africa and AfricAqua purpose to bridge the last mile by connecting low- revenue communities to primary water providers. This can, hopefully, enhance the financial livelihoods of the communities and on the similar time ensure high quality, reasonably priced and sustainable water provide.
The article appeared on Pg 30 of Day by day Nation (DN2) April three 2017 .