The Challenges of Water Education in Kenya
Over the past half-century, water problems in Kenya continue to escalate to become the most fundamental crisis affecting Kenyan society today, the grand Challenge facing development initiatives in agriculture health, natural disaster management, affordable energy and decent human settlements. Every day, the health and well-being of the 43 million people in Kenya is affected by the availability of clean and adequate water resources. Water crisis in Kenya today is as much a governance issues as is knowledge and capacity issue. True, effective and equitable water management is impeded by many factors, natural ones like water scarcity, erratic weather patterns, climate change and human related such fragmented sector management, ethical issues, insufficient investment etc. Whichever the causes, lack of safe water and adequate sanitation is the single largest cause of sickness, half of the hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water related diseases, while half the Kenya’s potential is wasting because of drought incidents every 3-5 years. There is no justification why this appalling situation should be continuing, not with nearly 100,000 graduating from Kenyan universities each year. Addressing these challenges will require the creation and support of perpetuating systems, rather than heroic intervention(s) of individual, The enduring role of education, more than anything else is stimulating transformational leadership. The weak knowledge and skill base is one of the major obstacles to sound water management and development. How can we plan what we can’t quantify, quantify yet not fathomed or monitor what is indefinite? Is it for lack of competences or priority that this knowledge gap exists? Science and technology, when applied appropriately, can have revolutionising effect, and therefore education and research must be engaged constantly and critically in the quest for solutions to instigating breakthrough progress. Happier future is hedged on scientific and technological innovations to more effectively use and manage water for development and social needs. WaterCap believes that water education has never been more important. Through water education, next generation professional are inspired to identify, discover and quantify their watershed recognizing the relationship between the availability water and stable development?
Through basic and continuing water education, students, teachers, business and community leaders and citizens must be empowered to take action in their localities in manner that contribute to a healthier local environment and economy.
Universities especially must lead in developing specialized education materials responding to variety priority of water topics; water reuse and efficiency, sanitation, water capture and storage, and pollution management, drought among others..