Water Harvesting For Sustainable Environment, Food Security And Community Development In Kenya

Water is an essential commodity to plants and animals alike. More than often, water has been equated to life and thus life on planet earth is depended on it. Water is needed in all spheres of life and that is why from the beginning of human civilization people have always settled close to water sources. Despite its immense importance, many people especially in the rural areas do not yet have access to safe, reliable and convenient sources of water (Wanyoni, 2002).

Kenya has been classified as a water scarce country according to a World Health Organization report released in 2005. Only 48 percent of the country’s rural population has access to an improved drinking water source. The time spent in pursuit of water collection often prevents people, particularly women, from concentrating on income generating activities, or in the case of school going children, leads to poor school attendance and performance. Due to the water scarcity in the rural areas, waterborne diseases are not uncommon. Furthermore, during the times of drought, hundreds of people die of starvation unless they get some food aid. This sobering situation has definitely reduced the country’s national development progress.

The University of Nairobi team together with other key stakeholders is seeking to use innovative ways to address this ever burning issue of water scarcity amid the irony of lots of water that causes havoc, floods that destroy property and lives. The project uses baseline data on the available water resources as well as their accessibility, utilization, management and preservation, rainwater harvesting technologies currently used, food and nutrition, security, health, hygiene and sanitation status.


Eng. Dr. Ayub N. Gitau, UNESCO

2,000, 000
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