by Peter Mutai
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s ecosystem
is undergoing serious degradation that also threatens the
country’s economic productivity, a senior official said
Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for
Environment and Natural Resources, said deforestation that
remains the greatest threat to the country has impacted
negatively on the quality and quantity of water flowing
"We are now enlisting the services of the private sector to
help restore the ecosystem and in the process improve economic
growth," Wakhungu said during the launch of a partnership for
sustainable restoration of Mount Kenya forest ecosystem.
She said that the low economic growth has resulted into
budgetary constraint as the country’s economy depends on tourism
and agriculture that are heavily supported by the natural
Wakhungu noted that the condition has forced the government
to allocate little money to environmental conservation programs.
"Climate change and human activities are to blame for the
degradation of the water catchment towers," she noted.
Nature Kenya Executive Director Paul Matiku said over the
years there has been a decrease in water volume due to forest
cover loss in Mount Kenya.
"Hydropower and water abstraction reservoirs have become
silted with sediments, significantly raising water treatment
costs," Matiku said.
Rapid urban population growth and unprecedented industrial
activity have further increased water stress levels.
He called for swift attention to help the ecosystem recover
the lost glory, adding that the region provides water to key
national parks, generates half of the country’s total
hydropower, and supplies 95 percent of Nairobi’s water.
Financial Director of Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) Kinya
Kimotho announced 80,000 U.S. dollars to support the initiative.
The support will go alongside forest restoration and will
lead to the planting of over 100,000 trees around Mt. Kenya and
Upper Tana River ecosystem in central Kenya that holds one of
the key pillars to Kenya’s economic development.
Kenya plans reuse of
wastewater amid quick urbanization
by Peter Mutai NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya said Wednesday it has set plans to better
re-use urban wastewater as its cities grow bigger.
Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation Eugene Wamalwa
said the country’s current water management systems are unable
to cope with the faster-growing cities.
"We are set to use multipurpose technologies for water re-use
and recovery of useful products," Wamalwa said in a statement to
mark World Water Day.
He said the government was determined to keep the Indian
Ocean clean by properly using the wastewater that can still be
treated for recharge and irrigation purposes.
Wamalwa said the byproducts from the domestic wastewater such
as salt, nitrogen and phosphorous have potential economic value
ad will be used in improving livelihoods.
He also blamed uncollected garbage, industrial waste and
overflowing sewers for the pollution of urban rivers that also
spread waterborne diseases to the unsuspecting water users.
Kenya’s water supply coverage has improved nationally from
56.9 percent to 58 percent during the 2015/2016 financial year,
according to the ministry.
The country is also in the process of marching sewerage
coverage by new water supply since sewerage coverage currently
stands at 25 percent.
The ministry is constructing larger water reservoirs,
boreholes, earth dams and water pans across the country to help
raise per capita water storage capacity.
"We are applying water-saving technologies such as drip,
sprinkler irrigation for upland crop cultivation and
water-saving paddy cultivation," Principal Secretary for
Irrigation Patrick Mwangi revealed.
He said that the available water resource for irrigation that
currently stands at 22,564 million cubic meters per year is
projected to increase to 26,634 million cubic meters per year in