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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Wandiga

Kenya Sustainable Cities - Water Recycling Effectiveness Depends on You

We have been experiencing irregular and unpredictable rainfall as part of Climate Change effects.

Water conservation efforts depend on our ability to do more with less (example wash more clothes or irrigate more crops with less water). Equally important is to track how much water we are withdrawing (consuming), instead of only tracking how much water we need, from each of the six major water catchments:

Lake Victoria North Catchment Area (LVNCA), covering 3.0 percent of the country

Lake Victoria South Catchment Area (LVSCA), covering 5.0 percent of the country

Rift Valley Catchment Area (RVCA) which includes the inland lakes, covering 22.5 percent of the country

Athi Catchment Area (ACA) stretching up to the coast, covering 11.5 percent of the country

Tana Catchment Area (TCA), covering 21.7 percent of the country

Ewaso Ng’iro North Catchment Area (ENNCA), covering 36.3 percent of the country

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Population increases between now and 2050 will also mean more people need water (we do not have lakes and rivers that grow). Depending on county governments will not be enough. Individual citizens and companies will have to take measures to recycle water at home, in office buildings and in factories. 

Water scarcity is not just a Kenyan problem, fresh water scarcity is a global problem

Additional ideas:

The Hub at Karen made green design a priority

BioBox is a Kenyan company helping residential and commercial owners who want to be proactive about on-site water recycling and waste management

Be sure to contact Kenya Green Building Society for more guidance on what you can do to recycle water on-site 

+ 254 710 869 547

While innovation and new technology is definitely required to address some of these challenges, there are also simple behavioural changes that can be made to improve our water supply. Reducing litter and garbage is one of those critical behavioural changes. 

Very few Kenyans would say they want the number of chemicals in their water to increase. However, an increase in chemicals is the inevitable result of throwing rubbish on the streets. In Nairobi County, the innovation of waste water recycling is already in place but the innovation is being damaged by litter and trash.

How many signs of litter and garbage can you see in this video? 

Watch "80% of Nairobi's waste water recycled at Ruai plant" on YouTube

After watching, are you still of the belief that the rain "magically" washes away garbage or are you convinced the garbage just flows right back to us? 

Sludge settles at the bottom of our dams and our lakes. The same as with any container, the more sludge at the bottom, the less water that can be stored. 

Our potable water is safe to drink but the cost of getting our water clean increases when we have to filter out more garbage and pathogens. This cost ends up in your water bill. 

There is no magical scientific or biotechnology solution to stop people from littering and throwing trash into our water systems. The only solution to this problem is for people to decide to be clean and stop littering. We have to change to benefit. 

The amount of litter and trash will continue to increase with Kenya's anticipated population growth. So too will the costs of water purification. 

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