Mau evictions part of solution, say experts

July 27, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – Water experts cautioned on Monday that evicting people from the Mau complex was not a quick fix solution to the countrywide water crisis.

Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment Professor George Krhoda said reclaiming the water tower, though positive, would take many years for its impact to be felt.

“Mau forest is not the solution for all the problems we have with water. The restoration of Mau does not take care of other water towers; it will take between 15 and 20 years to see its impact,” he said.

Prof Krhoda, who is currently a don at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, further advised Kenya to concentrate on conserving other water catchment areas, rivers and wetlands since they also have a great impact on the fast degrading environment.

He said Kenya was among the four countries in the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) experiencing water scarcity with less than 1,000 cubic meters per person every year.

Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia are the worst hit IGAD members, only Ethiopia and Uganda have adequate water supply.

He said Kenya was suffering due to lack of proper water management procedures and facilities.

Prof Krhoda cited lack of appropriate water storage facilities especially during the rainy season adding that Kenya has not invested on data and information to impact knowledge on exploration of underground water sources.

“Our population is large, and we have approximately storage of three months only, so if there are no rains for three months, we declare a disaster and that is what we have now,” he observed.

Ministry of Water and Irrigation Permanent Secretary Engineer David Stower said the water crisis was getting worse and even Uganda and Ethiopia which presently have enough water were likely to be affected by 2025.

He said it was unfortunate that none of the IGAD members had sustainable water for industrial development.

Mr Stower asked the member countries to work together to come up with measures of manage shared resources such as the water to boost social and economic development.

His remarks came during an IGAD validation workshop on the project of mapping, assessment and management of trans-boundary water resources in Nairobi.

Member countries were represented in the workshop seeking to discuss ways of addressing water challenges in their regions.


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