Kenya celebrates water and promotes a smarter management of water

Farmers use a net to catch pond-raised fish in Meru County, Kenya, April 25, 2018. Photo : REUTERS

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Kenya on Friday marked the World Water Day with a pledge to scale up investments in infrastructure and manpower required to achieve universal access to the commodity.

Simon Chelugui, cabinet secretary in the ministry of water and irrigation said that policy reforms coupled with innovative financing have been prioritized in order to bridge water supply gaps that have worsened poverty, food insecurity and communicable diseases.

“The government has in the last 15 years implemented reforms to address gaps that have hindered effective delivery of water and sanitation services in the country,” said Chelugui.

“We have come up with a roadmap to achieve universal coverage by 2030 through implementation of projects that will connect 200,000 people to clean water annually,” he added.

Kenya joined the international community to mark the world water day whose theme of “Leaving no one behind” realigns with the country’s socio-economic transformation blue print.

Chelugui said the government has fast-tracked construction of mega dams to address water insecurity that has worsened against a backdrop of climate change and population pressure.

“Kenya remains a water stressed country with an annual per capita availability of less than 500 cubic meters. We have earmarked 57 major dams for implementation in the coming decade to boost water security,” said Chelugui.

He said the government has enacted legislation to promote sound management of water resources amid competing demands from households and industries.

“Effective regulations are critical to ensure there is equitable sharing of water resources and avoid conflicts,” said Chelugui adding that protection of Kenya’s five major water towers has been prioritized to address access gaps in cities and rural towns.

Joseph Irungu, principal secretary in the ministry of water and sanitation said that expanding national water coverage from the current 60 to 80 percent by 2022 is key to boost economic growth and health outcomes of citizens.

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