World Water Day (22nd March, 2019)

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Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.

Every human being, animal and plants cannot envision survival without the existence of a reliable source water. Water is life and without it we perish.  This year’s celebration for water stresses the need for “Water for all.” In Africa this is has proved to be an elusive dream, decades after many countries attained independence.

Even in counties that receive rainfall nearly throughout the year, where they have tried to provide tapped water, the supply is inconsistent, taps remain dry nearly throughout the year.

These challenges result from

  • Increasing population and therefore increasing demand against insufficient infrastructure.
  • Poor management of water providing bodies.
  • Sharing of water resources between neighboring countries has proved to be a complex endeavor.
  • Water scarcity in regions like North Eastern province – these areas are arid and hardly receive rain for the better part of the year.
  • Water resource degradation – we seem not to have respect for water catchment areas, always cutting and not replacing trees, polluting rivers and lakes etc.
  • Lack of well trained professionals to manage water resources - water engineers and planners.
  • Climate change is slowly making availability of water a nightmare as more and more countries experience longer drought periods.

How can we then eliminate challenges and strive to provide water to all. Achieving water for all can be a reality if;

  • Proper planning is necessary. This implies evaluating current trends so as to project future water demand
  • Train more professionals / experts in management of water resources, to undertake research and engineering of water infrastructure
  • Educate the public on the need to protect our water catchment areas and avoid polluting our rivers and lakes
  • Eliminate cartels and wipe out corruption in the water sector.
  • Formulate a policy driven plan to plant more trees.
  • Adopt technologies to recycle waste water

Compiled by Grace C. Sitienei – University of Nairobi Library