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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenyan experts support technology to boost water management

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s ability to meet the rising demand for clean drinking water amid rapid population growth hinges on adoption of appropriate technologies and innovations to boost management of the commodity, experts said on Thursday evening at a forum in Nairobi.

The experts said that innovations that enhance water use among households and industries are required to prevent conflicts linked to sharing of a resource that is diminishing in the face of climate change and population pressure.

Wangai Ndirangu, country manager for Watercap, a network of water sector professionals, said that investments in water-saving technologies and innovations could hasten universal access to the commodity in Kenya.

“Our water coverage has remained constant in the last decade, yet we are adding 1 million people to the country’s population annually. This calls for improved water management through harnessing appropriate technologies to tackle scarcity in rural areas and unplanned settlements in cities,” said Wangai.

He spoke in Nairobi during a national workshop on strengthening communication of water science and policies attended by environmentalists and media practitioners.

Wangai noted that Kenya remained a water-scarce nation due to over-extraction of the commodity at the source to meet competing demands in agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

“The per capita water availability in Kenya is among the lowest in the region and therefore we must explore technologies to promote efficient use of the scarce resource,” said Wangai.

Kenya requires robust policies and regulations to facilitate investments in sustainable water management to achieve economic growth.

Jackline Ndiiri, a Nairobi-based environmentalist, said homegrown innovations are required to address water scarcity that is to blame for mounting poverty, disease outbreaks and skirmishes in the arid regions.

“We need to adopt water harvesting and storage technologies to overcome scarcity that is retarding development and fuelling conflicts in the arid and semi-arid (ASAL) regions,” said Ndiiri.

She noted that investments in waste water treatment technologies are key to tackle scarcity that is rampant in mushrooming urban informal settlements.

           

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