Kenya asked to follow Israel lead

August 28, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – Israeli Ambassador Jacob Keidar on Thursday said Kenya was capable of getting out of the food and water crises in future with positive political and public will.

He said the adoption of modern irrigation technologies to grow food and restoration of the country’s water catchment areas can completely end the water shortage in the country.

“You have the natural resources, you can do it with political will and the work of the people, if you plant trees, control usage of water, and catch unused water that flows into rivers and ocean,” he said.

The ambassador also said that other methods such as reducing water usage and recycling used water can go a long way in alleviating the crisis.

He also suggested the example of limiting the amount of water flowing in taps by using a special mechanism.

“In every household in Israel we have a small device on the tap, which reduces the amount of water everybody uses by 30 percent, less water comes out but at the same pressure,” he informed.

He said despite Israel being a drier country compared to Kenya, Israelites had resorted to using simple methods to ensure every person gets water without any rationings.

Israel is also known as the world’s most advanced user of agricultural irrigation, with half of all agricultural land under irrigation.

Mr Keidar said, “Necessity is the mother of innovation as we say in Israel, we did not have any other choice but to develop those kinds of technology in irrigation and in water supply.”

He said that despite having working irrigation and water supply schemes, the country still struggles to develop and reduce wastage of water at all times by adoption of drip irrigation.

He said irrigation is not expensive looking at the long term impact it will have in ensuring food security in a country.

“We have companies which use gravitation, you don’t need big pumps, you don’t need big infrastructure, there is a small farmers kit supplied in Kenya cheaply for drip irrigation with horticulture,” he said.

He also noted that water resources such as lakes, rivers and other sources should be kept clean and protected from any form of depletion.

The Ambassador emphasised the importance of conserving water catchment areas, especially forests, and frequent planting of trees across the country to maintain ample water in all seasons.

He also noted the importance of large water storage facilities to be used to hold water especially in the rainy seasons.

Due to its experience, Israel plays a major role in supplying the world with cutting-edge agricultural solutions.


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