The state has formed a new rainwater harvesting authority, which aims to combat droughts and floods through water reuse
The Kenya Water and Sanitation Department has announced the formation of the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority. This new authority, which launches next month, will work to implement rainwater harvesting systems across the country. The authority is currently underfunded, but Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui hopes to use momentum from World Water Day to enact change.
Kenya struggles with extreme droughts and extreme floods, the later of which has left at least 16 people dead in recent floods. Mass rainwater harvesting could be a method to simultaneously combat both of these issues by limiting storm water runoff in the wet months and utilizing it in the dry.
As reported by the Kenya Star, Kenya is a water scarce country with a per capita water availability of less than 600 cu meters, significantly below the global threshold of 1,000 cu meters per capita. The United Nations Environmental Program reported that Kenya’s rainwater potential is more than 350 billion cu meters, which is enough to support a population of 233 million or five times the current population.
“Using harvested rainwater through innovative harvesting systems has become a viable option for supplying water for domestic use, irrigation and industrial use,” Chelugui said on World Water Day.
The nation has set a goal of 80% water coverage by 2020 and encourages Kenyans to conserve water and implement rainwater harvesting in their own homes.