Retired President Mwai Kibaki has challenged experts to explore ways water can be used to effectively boost agricultural production, mining, manufacturing and recreation.
Speaking at the recently concluded National Water Summit, 2014 in Turkana County, Mr Kibaki said awareness to enable people boost rainwater harvesting was important to reduce pressure on scarce water sources. The summit was the initiative of Mount Kenya University.
The retired President, who is the patron of the Millennium Water Alliance Kenya, said the summit marked a new beginning of water management in Kenya and the region.
"This summit provides the perfect moment to retool policies related to water management in general. We should critically examine our efficacy in utilising water, particularly ground water, as a catalyst for development," he said.
Mount Kenya University Vice Chancellor Stanley Waudo said socio-economic issues inherently entwined with water included poverty eradication, education, gender equality, reduction of child mortality, improved maternal health and environmental sustainability.
He said a water goal was critical as part of the development agenda with measurable targets and indicators in support of life, well-being, economic development and the environment.
Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok regretted scarcity of water in his county despite discovery of huge water aquifers.
"Only 40 per cent have access to safe drinking water," he said. He expressed hope the summit would help county realise its water objectives.