HOW WE CAN ELIMINATE DROUGHT
Drought is a natural disaster that result from prolonged shortage of water supply, whether atmospheric, surface water or ground water. It can last for months or years, or may be declared after as few as 15 days.
DROUGHT IN KENYA
Indications of an impending drought began in 2016. Kenya receives the majority of its rainfall during two periods: the ‘long rains’ during March, April and May (MAM) and the ‘short rains’ during October, November and December (OND). However, in 2016 the OND rains failed. Counties in the northwest and southeast regions were particularly badly hit. The southeast also suffered from poor MAM rains. Analysis Researchers considered the counties classified as “alarm stage” by the National Drought Managem.
Starvation is defined as a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake needed to maintain human life. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death.
Along with loss of weight, symptoms of starvation include:
- Increased susceptibility to disease
Few people die directly from starvation because they usually die of an infectious disease first. Additional signs of starvation may include flaky skin, changes in hair color and massive edema in the lower limbs and abdomen, causing the person’s abdomen to seem bloated.
An estimated 1.1 million Kenyans are facing starvation in Samburu, Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Makueni, Kajiado, and Kwale. It has been reported a few people have died from hunger. Turkana, Baringo, Marsabit, Makueni and Tana River among the worst-affected. Starvation is defined as a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake needed to maintain human life. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition.
LESSONS FROM COUNTRIES WITH LOW RAINFALL
A Country like Egypt is a vast desert with almost no rainfall, but luckily Having River Nile as one of their biggest source of water body. For more than 6,000 years the river has enabled people to live in Egypt. Today, 50 million people live within a few miles of the river and completely depend on its water. The river is home to many fish and provides a valuable source of food.
In the UAE with rainfall that rarely exceeds 10cm a year, and its reported to be in the category of ten most arid countries in the world. It also consumes about 15 per cent of the world’s desalinated water. To meet the skyrocketing water demands of its population, more than 25 desalination plants supply as much as 80 per cent of the UAE’s total water supply. While critical to the viability of the state, however, desalination is a costly and energy-intensive process. It is estimated that by 2030, even with improvements in technology.
In September 2013 a tweet from Former minister of environment Judi wakhungu said that, Kenya aquifers were discovered in dry Turkana region and could supply the country for 70 years. The discovery of two aquifers would bring hope to the drought-hit region. Would this mean Kenya arid areas can be saved with a well-planned project to surface the water table?
However, the government has set aside Sh28 billion to fight the effects of drought as the dry spell sets in. Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said the State is currently undertaking 28 projects in the worst hit counties including Mandera, Marsabit, Baringo and West Pokot. The government is partnering with the Africa Development Bank.
“Besides water trucking, we also want to ensure sanitation is improved in all towns through provision of sewerage disposal systems. We want to reduce effluent being discharged into our rivers,” said Mr. Chelugui. He said the ministry is working with other partners including the National Drought Management Authority until the situation improves in April. Echoing a report by daily nation on Sunday February 3 2019.
As per our research this are the various solutions that can be put in place to eliminate drought in our country:
1. Smart Water Metering:
Smart water meters go above and beyond the capabilities of the basic meter on the side of your house, enabling users to monitor their water usage more accurately (and only pay for the water they’ve actually used), and help water suppliers to identify leaks and thefts, as well as see where and when water usage is highest (and to charge accordingly). In agricultural settings, using smart meters to determine when irrigation is needed, and monitoring it for efficiency, can be a huge boon in water conservation efforts.
2. More Efficient Desalination:
Most current desalination technologies use quite a bit of energy, and the effluent of some desalination plants can wreak havoc on the local environment (due to the high saline levels). Using a distillation process for desalinating seawater is also energy-intensive, unless renewable energy or ‘waste’ heat is captured and used instead of power from the grid, so future desalination solutions need to address both energy and effluent discharge to be more efficient. One possible solution, said to be 600 to 700% more efficient, is being pursued and is claimed to “be able to run on solar panels and produce 50 kg of water per square meter per hour”.
An estimated 90% of wastewater goes untreated, and innovations in wastewater treatment and reuse could not only use that formerly-wasted water, but might also be able to reclaim many of the chemicals and minerals to further reduce our demands on those resources. Another possible use for wastewater is growing algae for biofuel, which could address a very different issue: reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Being able to harvest and store rainwater for use long after the rainy season is over could be another potential method for reducing groundwater usage and providing clean water. Rainwater harvesting systems can be as far-out as a giant umbrella, or as small and simple as gutters and rainbarrels on residential buildings. Some innovative groups are also working on portable rainwater harvesting and filtration units, which could be used as a standalone system, or integrated into rooftop collection systems.
5.Condensation and Fog Harvesting
Even in areas without considerable rainfall, at certain times of the day the air contains enough moisture to be captured and stored. From fog catchers to dew catchers, sometimes just being in the right place at the right time with the right tool can help provide water in areas with no other viable options. Some of these designs are built to harvest water from both fog and condensation in arid regions, and others are atmospheric water generators suited for more humid areas.
6.Sustainable Water Filtration:
Sometimes, the problem isn’t lack of water, it’s lack of clean water and the ability to purify it. In areas with access to water which may be contaminated, sustainable water filtration systems can make the difference between life and death. Possible solutions for low-tech methods include using materials such as prickly pear cactus, tree seeds, ashes, or cow manure. Other purifiers are even simpler, and use just the sun, as in these two different versions of solar stills, the Eliodomestico and the Water cone.
7.Laser Cloud Seeding:
No, that’s not the title of a sci-fi movie, but a very real technology being pursued by researchers at the University of Geneva. According to Water Technology, “laser pulses generate clouds by stripping electrons from atoms in the air, encouraging the formation of hydroxyl radicals, which convert airborne Sulphur and nitrogen dioxides into particles that act as seeds to grow water droplets. “One of the most important ways to help us continue to provide water for our needs is be ever-vigilant about water conservation, as not using extra in the first place will always trump reclaiming it afterward by using additional resources. It might take everything from lasers to wastewater, from the simple to the complex, to help provide water for a world with seven billion citizens, but with so many innovators in water technology, chances are we’ll begin to find the answers.