After you read this, I hope, you will feel very lucky to wake up every morning and be able to rinse you face with fresh water. Not everybody in the world have the chance to have water available at every time of the day or the week. Kenya is one of the few countries in the with very poor water access.
Kenya is classified by the United Nations as a chronicallywater-scarce country, and currently ranks 21st for the worst levels of access to potable water in the world.
A water-stressed nation has a per-capita freshwater supply of 1,000-1,700 cubic meters; a water-scarce country on the other hand, has less than 1,000 cubic meters per capita. Kenya’s natural water endowment is 647 cubic meters per capita.
In 2008, only 59% of all Kenyans had access to safe water.1The 2006 drought in Kenya was declared a national disaster, as 3.5 million people faced starvation and food shortages.5Droughts continue to plague the region. Beyond the threat of drought-induced food scarcity, 10% of deaths in Kenya occur from water-borne or sanitation-related diseases.
Since 2002, when the national water policy was amended, the Government of Kenya (GoK) has made noble efforts, with the support of development agencies, to develop and implement a long-term plan for water provision. The GoK has faced many challenges, including corruption issues and difficulty maintaining public support. Though the GoK has intended to decentralize, water resource management and policy has remained highly bureaucratic, with a “top-down” system of planning and management.
On the other hand, “bottom-up” or grass-roots initiatives are haphazardly implemented, with little-or-no strategy or planning. When local groups and charities approach water provision, they often fail to see the big picture implications of their actions or how their work can be affected by another organization, sector, or the government.