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Posts Tagged ‘Nairobi’

The Water Crisis in African Cities

June 10, 2011 Comments off

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Access to running water remains in a state of crisis for a huge number of people across Africa, writes Michel Makpenon. With growing urbanisation across the continent, African cities will need the political determination to ensure sustainable water resources based on social need rather than commercial concerns, he stresses.

The water issue is a major problem for people in sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, the water situation in sub-Saharan Africa remains characterised by the difficult access to this resource, the poor supply management of watering places and the high costs of water network connections. For instance, in Benin one household in three doesn’t have access to drinking water, and the problem is much more acute in rural areas.

Households having access to drinking water are considered as households who have drinking water at home or within 200 metres from home: running water from the company’s distribution network, fountain water, water from the village pump, water tank and water from protected wells.

Various consultations led with the populations have indeed confirmed that the water issue is a major problem for them. The concerns, as raised by the populations, focus on the difficult access to water and the poor management of the watering places, the difficulties to call for the financial participation of the population for the creation and the management of watering places and the borehole characteristics which are Read more…

5 million aquatic animals die at Mara river in Kenya

February 22, 2011 Comments off

The National Environmental Management Authority (Nema), Public Health Ministry and Kenya Wildlife Service are investigating the deaths of fish in Mara River. Conservationists suspect the deaths that started last week might have been caused by agro chemicals from farms, that drain into the river. Hoteliers in Masai Mara Game Reserve are now expressing fear that the chemicals might kill animals that depend on the river.

“The deaths could have been caused by agro chemicals from large scale farms on the upper side of the river. The chemicals might also kill hippos, crocodiles and other animals that drink water from the river,” said Ben Kipeno, a conservationist from the northern side of the reserve. Mr Kipeno said on Wednesday there were unconfirmed reports that apart from fish, a crocodile and a hippo have already succumbed to effects of the chemicals. He urged the Government to rein in farmers along the river who use potent chemicals and claimed that despite several complaints to Nema no action has been taken. Officials from KWS who were dispatched from Nairobi took samples of the fish to the Government Chemist for further tests to ascertain the cause of the deaths. When The Standard visited the river, dead fish were floating with scavengers, including the Marabou stork, feeding on them. The Narok South Nema officer in charge Gabriel Tambushi said initial reports had indicated that more than five million fish were killed at the confluence of the seasonal Moyan River in Transmara with the Mara following a heavy flood.

“The sudden change of weather that resulted into heavy mist covering the water surface, inhibiting fish and other animals that depend on the river from breathing might have been the cause of the deaths,” said Tambushi. He did not rule out poisonous agro chemicals from farms, which depended on Mara River for irrigation.