My country has so many problems and there might be more to come. The lecturers strike is in its second month and there is so much silence. I feel like if they need to say something ; does the silence mean there is no chance to solve the problem or is it not a priority right now? One thing people might not notice is the backlog this strike will cause, last year form four candidates have already received their admission letters but if someone like me who has four courses left or even the first year who has a semester they have not completed where will the space for the next lot be found. My point is the lecturers strike needs to be addressed. Anyway today’s post was not about that but a problem that could affect Nairobi.
Have you ever heard someone ask or say,” Mbona kunanyesha na hatuna maji ?”( Why is it raining and we don’t have water?) I guess I understand it better because it is something I am currently learning so today I want to school you guys so that we start asking the right questions. Sometime in September last year Cape Town said that it is in a water crisis because it’s major water source which is a dam is drying out. Early this year they announced ‘Day Zero’ which means that they will shut off taps to homes and businesses. The date has been changing but they predict that by July residents will have to stand in line to collect rations.( Imagine the voting lines but now you are carrying a 20 litres jerrycan to collect ‘your share’ of water) Since January they have been consuming 50 litres of water a day and when day zero reaches it will be 25 litres of water a day.
Back to Kenya, some articles have been written about water rationing and how the water levels in Ndakaini dam are low and cannot support the population of Nairobi. There are a number of reasons as to why the water demand is more than the water supply such as climate change and population growth. The major reason is climate change, the effects of the drought we had in 2014 are still being felt, I know what you think but we have been having floods.Basically how it works is , we have catchments which are the water sources so as much as it is raining in major parts of the country the same amount might not be received in the catchment area. Another thing is when it rains the ground water is replenished first then it translates into the rivers which can then feed the dam. So yes it is raining in the catchments but that does not mean all the water goes into the dam. Population growth is also a factor, the last time water supply was considered was 1997 ,we are in 2018 the population is more than double such that the dam cannot supply for everyone.
So, yes we have a problem, water rationing might continue till 2026 but with the unpredictability of climate who is to say Nairobi will not have its own Day Zero. I feel like the issue is being swept under the carpet , Nairobi residents will wake up one day and be given a week to adjust to the situation. What are the possible solutions? The construction of the Northern Collector is underway and expected to be completed in 2020 and also two dams with an expected completion date of 2023. These structures will contribute to the amount of water produced for Nairobi. These are government initiatives but what can you do? We need to learn water conservation because it is highly influenced by lifestyle. Think of how much water is wasted in a car wash, can it be recycled for something else? Rainwater harvesting is the basic. First of all rainwater harvesting is among the most researched topics . You can find so much content on it. Even in places with gutters most of it is redirected to drainage systems why not redirect it to tanks ?
The sooner we jump in the water conservation wagon the more time we give ourselves to have a somewhat comfortable life.
The girl with the red lipstick.