Kenya’s economy remains the largest and most developed in East Africa, yet 36.1% of the population lived below the poverty line in 2015. This is predicted to moderately decrease to 32.4% in 2021. Although poverty rates continue to decrease, experts state poverty in Kenya is unlikely to resolve by 2030 at the current pace. Addressing the water crisis in Kenya is critical to improving conditions for citizens and reducing poverty.
Kenya’s Water Crisis
Kenya has shown rapid growth in education, with a literate population of 81.5% in 2018 for people 15 and older. Roughly 58% of adults older than 24 have also completed primary education, a notable increase from 44% in 2005. Despite progress in education and literacy, improved access to clean water in Kenya remains low. With long droughts and dry spells, water scarcity is an overwhelming concern. Kenyans living in rural areas rely on ponds, rivers and shallow wells as piped water connections are often unreliable. Women and children have the duties of traveling to collect water every day. This sidelines their education and increases the risk of contracting a waterborne disease such as cholera.
Tackling Kenya’s water scarcity can seem daunting and many wonder how to help. Many question whether a small contribution will even make a difference. However, every effort to end the water crisis makes a substantial impact on Kenyan communities. There are a few easy ways to help contribute to solving the water crisis today.
- Donate. A simple Google search will reveal an abundance of organizations working tirelessly to address the water shortage in Kenya. Checks can be sent via mail or donations can be made with a phone call or a simple click of a button. If time is of concern, in less than five minutes, anyone can sign up to make donations via credit card without even leaving their home.
- Shop Smart. Help solve the water crisis by supporting businesses that make considerable donations to nonprofits. Buy coffee products at Golden Made Kafé and the organization will donate 5% of the proceeds to Water.org to support water access efforts in countries like Kenya. Gift a book from AwesOm Life to a friend and it will donate 100% of the proceeds to organizations like Water.org. Purchase coloring books from Hidden Words Coloring and it will donate 10% of book sale revenue to support Water.org’s mission of global water access.
- The Water Challenge. Instead of buying soda or sports drinks, commit to drinking only water for two weeks. More than 800 groups all over the United States and Canada have taken part in The Water Challenge to raise money for the water crisis in Africa. Donate the money that would have otherwise been spent on beverages and it will provide at least one person access to clean water.
- Share Stories. In a globalized world bombarded with technology, one share on Facebook could make a difference in whether someone will have access to clean water or not. Follow UNICEF’s water access efforts on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to learn more and share stories with friends and family to spread awareness.
The Road Ahead
Kenya has certainly made considerable progress in its development. However, the scarcity of water is an issue that results in Kenya lagging behind neighboring countries. It is important to have access to clean water now more than ever to support hygiene efforts to protect people from COVID-19 and other diseases. It may feel overwhelming to solve the water crisis in Kenya, but the crisis continues to move in a positive direction. With a push of a button, anyone can contribute to reducing global poverty.
– Mio Vogt