Kenya launches water study

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The government has launched a study on the country’s water resources to guide planning in the next 12 years.

Water ministry permanent secretary David Stower said the Sh320 million project aims at drawing a new master plan that seeks to establish the availability, reliability and quality of the commodity in line with Vision 2030.

Mr Stower said the study should prepare the country for the management of floods, drought, sewerage development, irrigation and upgrading water institutions.

Kenya has been using a 1992 master plan that puts the country’s water potential at 647 cubic metres per capita. However, Mr Stower said the estimates were obsolete due to deforestation, climate change, and the rising population which stands at more than 38 million.

He said Kenya’s water security that currently stands at five cubic metres per capita was “one of the lowest globally.” The country’s water towers, for example, have been degraded while the forest cover has reduced to about 1.7 per cent against the recommended minimum 10 per cent.

The existing document, he said, cannot be used for meaningful planning. “We can only achieve Vision 2030 and the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) if we accurately know our water resource potential so that we can plan for equitable allocation, ” said Mr Stower.

Under Vision 2030, the economic guidelines that target the middle-income economy by the year 2030, water is marked as a key resource.

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