Kenya: Why You Need to Harvest Rainwater This Wet Season

A water vendor pulls a hand cart with jerricans containing water at Kaloleni estate in Nairobi.

Kenyans have been urged to make maximum use of the current rains and to collect as much water as possible.

Water Resources Authority (WRA) chief executive officer Mohamed Shurie has advised Kenyans to collect rainwater during the wet season so that they'll have ample supply during the drought.

"Because of climate change, we are always in one of two extremes, drought or floods. Kenyans need to learn to harvest the rainwater so that they will have something to use when the drought comes," Mr Shurie said on Monday.

WRA is holding a two-day conference that ends on Tuesday to discuss how the authority can improve water resources in the country.

"We will also discuss how to make sure that pollution is no longer an issue. As you know, people throw away their garbage in rivers, you can see how dirty Nairobi river is. We urge Kenyans to dispose of their waste away from water bodies to reduce the pollution in our rivers," Boniface Mwaniki, the WRA technical coordination manager told journalists.


Mr Shurie lamented the public's negative attitude towards the authority, saying often Kenyans ignore their recommendations which only worsen water shortages.

He cited the example of farmers who plant their crops and set up irrigation schemes up stream, thus decreasing water for those living further down the course of rivers.

The two-day conference, which was scheduled before the coming of the rains, was initially meant to decide on what measures to take to save water during the drought.

One of the things that would have been done is banning irrigation schemes and prioritising water for domestic use only.

Despite the heavy rains, some areas and rivers are still dry such as rivers Pesi, Mutara, Suguroi and Naro Moru.

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