WATER = LIFE!

According to Wikipedia, Water is a transparent fluid which forms the world’s streams, lakes, oceans and rain, and is the major constituent of the fluids of living things. Water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. It is vital for all known forms of life. Water on Earth moves continually through the water cycle of evaporation and transpiration, condensation, precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea.

sparkling clean water in a red bucket

Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but approximately one billion people still lack access to safe water and over 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and gross domestic product per capita. However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability. A report, issued in November 2009, suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%. Water plays an important role in the world economy, as it functions as a solvent for a wide variety of chemical substances and facilitates industrial cooling and transportation.
Kenya is among countries referred to as water scarce countries. Water pollution is very common and thus requires a lot of sanitation to make it fit for human consumption. Surface water resources cover only 2% of the total surface area. The climate varies from tropical along the Kenyan coast of the Indian ocean to arid in the interior and 2/3rds of the country is covered by semi-desert or desert land. According to the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA), access to safe water supplies throughout Kenya is 59% and access to improved sanitation is 32%.There is still an unmet need in rural and urban areas for both water and sanitation. Kenya faces challenges in water provision with erratic weather patterns in the past few years causing droughts and water shortages. Kenya also has a limited renewable water supply and is classified as a water scarce country. Urban migration contributes to challenges in sanitation, as people crowd into cities and urban growth is unregulated. Due to lack of access to water and sanitation, diarrhea is second to pneumonia in deaths in children under five years of age. Water, sanitation and hygiene related illnesses and conditions are the number one cause of hospitalization in children under age five. Access to water and sanitation also contribute to time savings for women, more hours in school for girls, and fewer health costs.

water affected by moss.
water affected by moss.

Approximately 70% of the fresh water used by humans goes to agriculture. Without water, crops will obviously die which may lead to food shortage and the prices of food going high; that is if a lot of farmers are affected. This will definitely be a national crisis. Both food and water are basic needs and instrumental for human survival. Fridah Kathambi and Janet Kanini, both small scale farmers in Ngong completely agree with this notion and stress the fact that Kenya’s economy; which heavily depends on agriculture for growth will also be hit hard and may take time to recover. Being part time farmers, both use extra money they get from selling their produce to the local vendors to take care of any extra expenses in their homes. They urge the government to do more to make the country secure when it comes to water because we can’t entirely depend on aid or the climate due to global warming.The other industry which is affected by water shortage is the hospitality industry, especially the hotels. Without sufficient water, many establishments will be declared a health hazard by the head of health in the respective county, leading to foreclosures. The owners will in turn make losses, lose licenses to operate and obviously any future investors will shy away. One such hotel owner, a Mr. James Oyango narrated to me how he had to close his business in Rongai due to frequent water outage. He said that operating in such an environment was hard and so he fired
his employees and sold his business and opened a cyber café. He disclosed that he was spending too much money buying water daily compared to his daily profit, prompting him to rethink his decision of being a hotel owner.

In conclusion, water can live very well without people but we people can only live for three days without water.

water being poured at night
water being poured at night

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