Water and Irrigation Ministry plans to build small-scale harvesting ponds around the country in efforts to encourage people to harvest water in their homes. This is part of the water harvest campaign 2017 unveiled by stakeholders in academia, private sector and the government to encourage water storage and harvesting.
The campaign dubbed ‘the ‘Billion Dollar Business Alliance’is set to increase per-capita storage of water from less than 100 cubic meters to a potential 7400 cubic meter by the year 2030.
“The rainwater harvesting and management campaign can be sustained. There are possible options to fight the twin challenge of frequent droughts and floods,” said Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, when he launched the campaign at the World Agroforestry Centre in Gigiri, Nairobi.
Studies by ICRAF and UNEP show that the rainwater potential of Kenya, if harvested and managed well, is more than 350 billion cubic meters, enough to support a population of 233 million people.
He urged the stakeholders involved to play their part and ensure that the campaign was a success. “If the potential of harvested rainwater is enough to sustain nearly 5 times the population of Kenya, it is a time to scale up rainwater harvesting and integrate it into broader policies, strategies to increase its potential impact,” he said.
During the launch also Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC) was applauded for its crucial involvement especially in research and also participating in the campaign. The Center aids in developing effective policy mechanisms that facilitate the promotion and scaling-up of rainwater harvesting based on its proven potential and impact.
The campaign has come at a critical time when Kenya is facing frequent drought and water rationing with appropriate mechanisms and infrastructure needed to be in place to resolve the recurrent situation.