• Today, around 1.9 billion people live in potentially severely water-scarce areas. By 2050, this could increase to around 3 billion people.
• An estimated 1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from human wastes.
• Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the environment without being treated or reused.
Kenya is classified as a water scarce nation with a high number of her population having little or no access to clean drinking portable water. Today, as we mark world water day, it is a time to reflect on our actions, activities and attitudes. Most households both urban and rural spend thousands monthly buying clean drinking water.
The destruction of water towers only helped in worsening the situation by drying up the available water sources as well as resulting in reduction in rainfall patterns and intensity. Currently most parts of the country are ironically experiencing floods and yet have no household water supply.
What to do;
Granted we currently have the climate finance and policies and the recently launched reforestation campaigns, but more is still needed to reverse the damage. The solution to drought, flooding, water scarcity and climate change as a whole lies in Nature and conservation efforts. Nature based solutions and cost effective and gives rise to green infrastructure. ‘Restoring forests, grasslands and natural wetlands, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, creating buffers of vegetation along water courses – these are all examples of Nature Based Solutions that help the management of water availability and quality.’
Agriculture is a big contributor to pollution and degradation, but this can be reduced and reversed through practices such as conservation agriculture, which protects soil from erosion, or riparian buffers, strips of land along water courses planted with indigenous trees and shrubs.
All these approaches and solutions have to be crowned by collaborations and engagement of all; the most common cause of degradation and pollution is ecological ignorance and lack of community involvement.