Water and Sanitation

Before Kenya’s independence in 1964, Mua Hills was undoubtedly a land exceptionally good with a sufficiency of water. The area has 7 boreholes dug during the colonial era. When the indigenous community took occupancy of the land, the boreholes were functional for a short while. With time, the pipes have been vandalized; other pipes have been destroyed during road constructions and the storage tanks too old and some leak. In Mua hills, there are no rivers and groundwater makes its way to the earth’s surface and emerges as small water holes as springs.

With the reduction of the forest cover, ground water retention has been affected and this is evidenced by the drying up of springs and persistent drought spells, in a region that is 1844m above sea level. It is common to see women and children trekking for long distances to fetch water. As a result a lot of time is spent by women and children looking for water. It is estimated that women and children in rural Kenya walk on average 6 kilometres and spend more than 6 hours/day collecting water. The reduction in the burden of water collection will allow the local community to invest time to improve their farms and plant trees, thus dramatically increasing crop yields and further reinforcing the effectiveness of water catchments. In contrast to surface water, the groundwater is of higher water quality.

Climate change is intensifying the global water cycle and exposing large segments of the world’s population to significant water-related hazards. These are expected to increase in severity over time. Floods and droughts are becoming more frequent and severe. Rainfall patterns are more unpredictable and sea levels are rising. These changes not only threaten the ecosystem and livelihoods of people – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable – they also pose a major impediment to economic and social development. SDG 6 seeks to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.