In Summary
  • Some Kenyans in the north also have issues with Ethiopia over lake dams, as do others in Somalia over the Shabelle River that has dried up and whose condition some attribute to Ethiopian dams near Godey and Genale.
  • In Nairobi, trees are cut to allow more billboards to be visible, and Ngong Forest is vanishing, according to Kibra MP Ken Okoth, while while Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana has warned about sand harvesting.
  • But it is not all doom and gloom for water. The snow caps are back on Mount Kilimanjaro, and last December, just before Parliament went on its long recess.
  • Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut introduced a motion that called for compulsory tree planting at all learning institutions and individual households.

There is tension all around due to water. At the African Union earlier this month Egypt had issues with hosts Ethiopia and Sudan over the Nile water, and the main reason was the Great Nile Dam, the largest dam in Africa that Ethiopia built alone for $4.2 billion, with no loans.

Some Kenyans in the north also have issues with Ethiopia over lake dams, as do others in Somalia over the Shabelle River that has dried up and whose condition some attribute to Ethiopian dams near Godey and Genale.

Cape Town is also in the news. South Africa’s second-largest city was expected to run out of water on April 29, but that has been pushed back to May 18.

Here in Kenya, we are dealing with prolonged droughts that have affected the economy. All reports indicate that rain led to crop failure and animal stress, and that resulted in reduced food production, higher food inflation and lower exports of tea in the first half of 2017.

FLASH FLOODS

Newspapers and Twitter have carried stories about Cherangany Hills Forest evictions, Mau Forest depletion, and people in Embu wondering who is cutting their forests.

The Ministry of Energy has said it shut down the legendary Masinga Dam from generating electricity. Water levels at Ndakaini Dam, which supplies Nairobi, have dropped, according to satellite pictures. Evergreen Londiani has dried up. Some kids in Baringo are skipping school to search for water. And charcoal harvesting in Kitui is causing tension between communities.

In Nairobi, trees are cut to allow more billboards to be visible, and Ngong Forest is vanishing, according to Kibra MP Ken Okoth, while Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana has warned about sand harvesting, which has destroyed riparian vegetation and farmland as people are illegally scooping sand and widening river banks.

And when the rains eventually come, they will wash through the dry country. It has now become a regular occurrence that every rain storm that lasts more than twenty minutes results in flash floods that destroy houses, sweep bridges, or block roads in places like Kileleshwa, Kitengela and Narok.

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