By Kibaki Press
Interventions in water availability and usage should focus more on sustainable solutions that acknowledge modern-day realities, says former President Mwai Kibaki.
He stressed that in the ensuing circumstances, the management of water resources has become more and more complex and therefore demand more innovative ways of conserving the declining resources.
Mr. Kibaki said the world has undergone tremendous transformation in recent years where the patterns of human settlement have continued to change rapidly.
“The world has undergone tremendous transformation in recent years. As this happens, the patterns of human settlement have continued to change rapidly,” the former Head of State noted.
Mr. Kibaki who is the Patron of Millennium Water Alliance (Kenya), made the remarks today at Safari Park Hotel when he launched the partnership between Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development (Kenya-RAPID) and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs, where he rooted for global best practices in all aspects of enhancing water availability, access and governance in order to foster the desired changes in an integrated manner.
He in particular pointed the expansion of urban settlement and industries that he said require investments in more creative remedies that deal with the declining water supply in all countries.
“Similarly, as we seek to increase our agricultural, commercial and industrial productivity, we must be sure to create a balance between water supply, usage and conservation,” Mr. Kibaki added.
Mr. Kibaki further called for the various initiatives undertaken in the water sector to direct in empowering economically the targeted population.
“My hope is that the water and related benefits we seek to provide under RAPID and other similar programs will become a tool of empowering the targeted populations. That is, empowering them to modernize and diversify the range of their market oriented economic activities, as well as improve their standards of living, he said.
Mr. Kibaki noted that with such economic pathways the beneficiaries will be able to pay for the water they use and their new economic way of life will bear the marks of true sustainability.
He also urged the County Governments to fully support the initiatives in order to ensure that resources from International partners bear a permanent and truly developmental impact to no only their people but to the whole nation.
He maintained that the absence and scarcity of clean water, in particular, impoverish the communities and expose them to poor health that deprive them their economic ability.
“With that understanding, it is clear that water today is crucial in enabling human progress just as it was in olden days when civilization primarily happened along water course-ways,” the former President stressed.
Kenya-RAPID program is an initiative that mobilizes financial and technical resources from development partners, national government, county government and the private sector and focuses on five Kenyan ASAL counties with high poverty rates, chronic food and water insecurity and low access to basic services. They include Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Wajir, and Turkana.
Cabinet Secretary of Water and Irrigation Eugene Wamalwa said the government is committed to ensure that water resources in the country are properly managed to effectively serve the citizens.
He added that despite the various challenges affecting the water sector the government would continue to encourage the public and private partnership to ensure that the sector is fully funded. Adding that the Government can only meet half of the annual budget of the sector.
In this regard, he welcomed the support from the international community that he stressed will go along way in giving the Kenyans safe drinking water.
For their parts, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and his Swiss counterpart Ralf Heckner stressed their countries commitments in supporting Kenya’s initiative in providing water to her citizens.