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Kenyans are at risk of water scarcity due to urban sprawl – KBC

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More and more Kenyans are at risk of water shortages due to urban sprawl and environmental impact on water systems and infrastructure.

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The Water, Sanitation and Sanitation Program (WASH) estimates that 59 percent of Kenyans already do not have access to clean water and less than 29 percent do not have access to sanitation.

UN projects say with the current level of drought and environmental stress imposed on water, that by 2050 and by current trends, one in four people will have access to clean water.

According to Reckitt General Manager Sachin Varma, the country’s solution to equitable access to clean water and sanitation lies in tackling population pressures and climate change.

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These two factors, if not addressed by all stakeholders, could put further pressure on already filtered water infrastructure and could undermine the gains made towards achieving clean water and sanitation in the country.

“The environmental impact of the changes that cause water stress will continue to put more pressure on this and therefore we need to continue working on this to achieve the goal of ensuring that all Kenyans have access to clean water and sanitation,” said Varma.

Reckitt says environmental factors put Kenya at high levels of water stress, either through deforestation and drought expansion and making the environment a major contributor to poor water supply and sanitation.

“The impact of water and sanitation in Kenya places a heavy burden on our people and the economy caused by the impact on poor health, increased poverty and low productivity,” Varma said.

Reports indicate that 21 million Kenyans do not have access to clean and safe water and sanitation, estimated to cost the country Ksh 27 billion annually.

“Access to clean water will reduce the stress of health care, reduce poverty and improve productivity. This requires investment in water infrastructure, sanitation and sanitation and education, ”he said.

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