Friday, April 16, 2010

Kenyan government must enhance access to water.

(Left: A student drawing water at Maseno University, West of Kenya. For the country to attain its goals the access of water must be essential  Photo: Manuel Odeny/The Burning Splint)

Bernard Sanga's report (The EastAfrican February 8-14) on how water shortages in Kenya may undermine the country's effort towards schieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Vision 2030 was a spot on.

Although water is the main necessity for human survival, most Kenyans lack access to the precious liquid.

While arid parts of the country like Ukambani and North Eastern Province continue to suffer from perennial droughtd, citizens from other regions such as Budalangi in Western Kenya continue to battle floods year in year out.

Why water harvesting mechanism are not top priority for the government, which it could then distribute to areas where there is a shortage, remains a puzzle.

In urban areas, access to safe and affordable water remains a huge challenge, with the informal sector being worst hit. Dry taps running days and weeks on end mean residents must purchase the commodity at exhorbitant prices from middlemen, and often, the water is unsafe for human consumption.

In hotels, after paying for a meal, a customer is also expected to pay for water (which is bottle)-How sad!

Water is a basic human right and if the government ever hopes to achieve the MDGs, it must ensure all citizens have access to a safe and consistent supply of the commodity.

Published on March 15-21, 2010 by The EastAfrican/East Africa

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