By Pherry Angela.
An International Resource says that half of the world is to face severe water stress come 2030. Well, it’s not yet 2030 and in our country Kenya, this is already becoming a reality for most of the population. The percentage of people already being affected by water stress is likely to increase exponentially. This is due to effects of global warming that are being experienced, and the constantly increasing population. Therefore, unless drastic changes on how we utilize our water resources are made, it will not be a lie to say that tough days are ahead of us.
At the moment, dwindling water levels in our dams has stopped being news. Dry taps and constant water rationing have become a norm in our homes and even places of work. Drillers are forced to drill deeper as the existing bore holes are running dry.
This is the story for some people living in the Karen area in Nairobi, as the Ground Water Levels have gone down. The cases only reinforce the undeniable truth that we as a country need to look into sustainable ways to manage and utilize our water resources.
Mismanagement of water in our country occurs in the places you would least expect. Places you think that people would know better and where there is evidence that they understand our water stress situation.
Take for example our learning institutions; Universities, Secondary and Primary Schools. These are the places where people are thought to be taught on ways to better the world. Yet the mismanaging of water going on is just unthinkable.
Type of toilets
The types of toilets in place are still those that flush about 7- 9 liters of water down the drain. A single person washing their hands at the tap uses nearly 4 liters of water . Put into consideration the size of the population.You will see that we have a big water wastage problem. In addition to this, there are always leaking taps, toilets, and pipes that go unnoticed. Okay… maybe people notice but just don’t care.
Water usage by students
There is also ignorance on the part of the students about how they use water. Since they don’t pay the bills, they are hardly conscious or cautious about how they use water.
Where do we start to correct the error of water mismanagement? The best place to start would be at our learning institutions. We will have hope that the lessons there will always take the lessons back to the society at large.
Sensitization of students
Sensitizing the students on the importance of water management through:
- Addition of a relevant subject in their curriculum
- Having workshops held by entities that are concerned with water management such as Eenovators and Endustrial Support at the schools.
- Formation of Policies by the government towards this goal could also be beneficial.
Water management policies
Imagine if we had policies that govern the construction of buildings to attain water savings? Policies that would govern what type of toilets, showers, and taps were acceptable for commercial buildings. Policies to ensure that pipe network systems are checked regularly to mitigate any leakages? Wouldn’t this make the difference we are all looking for towards water savings?
These measures may seem to be unattainable to many or even costly. Although, these conservation measures have been tried before and have worked. The initial cost of implementation maybe high but the payback time is guaranteed. Water bills get lower. The long-term benefit of having attained proper management of water in our country as a whole, makes it all the more worth it.
As we continue to reflect about the water situation in this country, we need to reflect on the words of Niall Fitzgerland “Sustainability is here to stay or we not be”, These deep words only affirm to us that our only option in our constantly changing world is to seek sustainable ways to use and manage our water if we are to live.
Pherry Angela is currently an undergraduate student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Angela is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering and is very passionate about matters that pertain to the Environment and its wellbeing. She believes in the fact that the world has enough for everyone’s need and not everyone’s greed.