There is an urgent need for water security in Kenya, more so within marginalized communities which are prone to major drought. Water security is part of the post-2015 development agenda as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Water security as defined by UN water as “the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability.”
The role of water in food security is undeniable. Increasing availability and productivity of irrigation water for the people in marginalized communities will play a big role in strengthening the community’s resilience to climate change. Irrigation ensures that there is a constant supply of produce all year round regardless of the climatic conditions.
When people have access to water for irrigation, they can produce more food and have a surplus to sell. The transition from subsistence to commercial farming means that they can make a living from agriculture and achieve some form of income security.
Ensuring that marginalized communities have access to adequate quantities of water will help in conflict management. Conflict between communities over watering holes for their animals will be significantly reduced. Conflict between people and wild animals for water will also reduce.
By ensuring water security, the quality of life for people in marginalized communities is improved significantly. Women and children need not transverse long distances in search of water and in so doing will save time, encourage children to enroll in school and improve personal security.
Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika understands the importance of water security in strengthening climate change resilience which is why the organization engages in the construction of sand dams in drought prone areas in West Pokot. These sand dams help to harvest water during flash floods in seasonal rivers. Making water available in these rivers for longer than the rain seasons.