Unesco envoy calls for water conservation efforts in Kenya

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Unesco special envoy Mwai Kibaki has said there is need for water conservation and harvesting of rain water in the wake of drought and water challenges in Kenya.

A speech read on his behalf at the Africa Green Building pre-summit in Nairobi, he urged the policy makers to ensure that building plans and constructions should be able to anticipate and provide for proper water storage and purification.

Conservation of water is one of the biggest challenges in Kenya even at household level. Rain water which is the greatest natural resource has the potential but greatly underestimated. This potential has not been harnessed or properly conserved.

He said it was important that contingency plans were made by designing systems that are capable of recycling water to deal with the water wastage. Policy makers especially those for housing should make laws and regulations that make it mandatory for all houses to be fitted with ultra-low flush options and low showerheads.

This will ensure that the water that goes into waste can be saved and used for other equally important uses. The planting of eucalyptus trees that have turned out to be water guzzlers are some of the reasons conservation of water has become so hard.

For years, Kenya has been on the front line dedicating precious time and resources on planting eucalyptus in the effort for re-forestation. A single eucalyptus tree  consumes 1,200 litres in a month hence 10 million eucalyptus trees equates to depriving 12 billion litres of water in a month.

With the current severe drought and rivers quickly drying up, this plan could save the wildlife as well as humans. With the rains expected in April, the government should consider this move to save the people from the severe drought.

The statement comes just after the government made a move to increase and rehabilitate the boreholes in the country in order to boost water supply in the country. Water problems in Africa continues to be a major issue following acute droughts on the continent.