Water scarcity is a global issue that affects many countries. According to Thewaterproject.org (2016), 783 million people do not have access to clean and healthy water. The problem is exacerbated in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 319 million people lack access to improved, safe drinking water sources. This paper will concentrate on the scope of Kenya’s and Nepal’s water crises, as well as the activities that various IGOs and NGOs featured in Briefing Paper #2 are undertaking in these countries. Moreover, the paper will discuss the institutional capacities that are required to deal with the issue of water crisis in Kenya and Nepal, and will explain the activities that various IGO/ NGOs that were featured in briefing paper #2 are conducting in these countries. Moreover, the paper will discuss the institutional capacities that are required to deal with the issue of water crisis in future. Water crisis is a public health and economic challenge that requires prompt and adequate strategized measures.
Water Crisis in Kenya
37% of the population of people in Kenya utilizes water sources that are not improved like rivers, shallow wells and ponds. In addition, 70% of Kenyans have access to sanitation solutions that are not improved. This means that given the population of Kenya to be 46.7 million individuals, 7.3 million use water sources that are not improved, while 32.7 million people use poor sanitation facilities. Specifically, the challenges due to water crisis are more evident in the rural areas as well as slum areas in towns and cities. Due to the water crisis, girls and women are the groups that suffer most as they are required to spend notable amount of their time travelling in search for water (Water.org, 2017). Water crisis in Kenya also affects agricultural productivity as some regions are very dry to support any form of agriculture.
Contributions by International Community
In Kenya, IGOs and NGOs have a significant role to play in assisting the present water crisis. Although there are economic development plans for the country, corruption and inefficiency have plagued the country. For example, FAO is advancing the sustainability of water resources through enhanced tenure, management and conservation with the main aim of meeting the future demands in product from agriculture and ensuring sustainability of water quality and quantity. The World Bank is also helping in addressing the crisis by meeting the increasing water services demands through funds. UNEP, through its GEMS water project is helping in providing water quality data that is utilized in initiatives involving water assessment and capacity building. In addition, UNICEF, through its WASH program is helping enhance water supplies as well as sanitation facilities in institutions and communities as well as in the promotion of safe hygiene practices.
In Kenya the problem of water crisis is adequately addressed as the country’s water infrastructure is rehabilitated with the main aim of providing clean and safe water to the Kenya people. There are various projects such as those related to securing wildlife to protect the forests in water towers. With the help of the NGOs, other strategies include management of water resources information, storage and harvesting of water, as well as the national water and supply sanitation.
Water Crisis in Nepal
As a landlocked country with more than 27 million individuals, Nepal is among the poorest countries in the globe. 42% of Nepal’s population lives below the line of poverty. Only 27% of the population has access to improved sanitation. The main challenges relate to scarcity and pollution of water. Though water is a basic necessity for humans, a big fraction of the population of Nepal cannot access adequate safe drinking water. 80% have access to water, but is if not safe, while the poor and people living in rural areas have limited to no access. People in some rural locations fetch water from tube wells, which could be contaminated by arsenic. Just like in Kenya, water crisis has greatly affected agricultural practices as there is insufficient water for agriculture in some regions.
Contributions by International Community
Through World Bank, the second rural water supply and sanitation project enhanced the access to safe drinking water in Nepal. Through this project the prevalence of deaths due to diarrhea reduced in children by over 80% in the area affected by the project. UNICEF together with other partners has a strategy to reach 2,800,000 kids by emphasizing in water and sanitation. UNICEF has been distributing emergency supplies to Nepal including water-tucking services to various camps in Kathmandu as well as rehydration zinc and salt against diarrhea (UNICEF, 2016). W.H.O is committed to assisting Nepal in its health system to deliver life-saving and important services. W.H.O is standing with the government of Nepal to overcome the water crisis. Save the Children is a NGO whose aim is to promote the rights of children and provide relief and support to Nepal. The Nepal fund was set by the organization with the objective of protecting vulnerable children to access clean and safe water and reduces the menace of diarrhea caused by consumption of dirty water.
So far, there are many IGOs and NGOs that have shown commitment to helping the country in its water crisis. Each has strategized on the manner in which the citizens are going to access clean and safe water and prevent the health outcomes that come along with the crisis.
Water crisis is not only a public health crisis but also an economic and environmental issue. Water is a basic need, but not everyone in the world is able to access it, especially in relation to clean and safe water as well as water for other developmental purposes such as agriculture. However, for the many countries that access to water is a problem, IGOs and NGOs are providing assistance through different projects to reduce the menace. Kenya and Nepal are among the countries that suffer from water crisis. Organizations such as World Bank, UNICEF, W.H.O and FAO among others have worked in partnerships or individually in trying to address the problem.
Thewaterproject.org. (2016). Facts about Water: Statistics of the Water Crisis. Retrieved on April 18, 2017 from https://thewaterproject.org/water-scarcity/water_stats
UNICEF. (2016). Nepal’s Earthquakes: Help Children Recover. Retrieved online on April 18, 2017 from https://www.unicefusa.org/donate/nepal-earthquake-help-children-now/24226
Water.org (2017). Kenya’s Water Crisis. Retrieved online on April 18, 2017 from http://water.org/country/kenya/