Water Resources and Management under Increasing Urban Demography: A Kenyan Perspective—A Review
Ondigo, Deziline Adhiambo
Kavoo, Agnes Mumo
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The United Nations classifies Kenya as a water-scarce country since it has less than 1000 m3 per capita of renewable freshwater supplies. Numerous factors including global warming, contamination of drinking water, and a lack of investment in water resources have aggravated the water crisis in Kenya. Estimates indicate that only about 56% of its population has access to safe water supply. Like many developing countries, Kenya recognizes the crucial role of water in realizing its development goals. Its economic performance and poverty reduction are critically dependent on clean water availability for agriculture, industrialization, energy production and tourism among others. Similar to most developing countries, Kenya suffers from lack of human, monetary and institutional capabilities to efficiently provide clean and sufficient water to its citizens. The water shortage in the major cities is acute and chronic and has continued to worsen with increasing urbanization, water pollution and encroachment of water catchment areas by humans and invasive plant species. Despite the water challenges facing the urban populations, Kenya possesses sufficient water resources to meet demand if the available resources are properly managed. Several initiatives are being put in place in Kenya to mitigate the water challenges and protect water resources in Kenya. These include enacting of water policies to protect water catchment areas, reduce pollution and enhance access to clean water.