Experts: Drilling many boreholes puts pressure on aquifers

As the world prepares to mark the World Water Day this Friday, experts have warned that the country’s over-reliance on ground water might be making it more water deficient.

Doris Kaberia, Chief of Party for Kenya RAPID and Kenya Programmes Director at Millennium Water Alliance, called for a more carefully planned approach to borehole drilling to protect the water ecosystem.

Ms Kaberia stressed the need for underground water recharging, adding that 41 per cent of Kenyans still relied on water sources such as ponds and shallow wells.

“We are digging so many boreholes close to each other and over-abstracting from aquifers,” she said.

According to the United Nations, Kenya has one of the lowest natural water replenishment rates at 647 cubic metres per capita each year, which is far below the recommended 1,000 cubic metres per capita per annum.

“We need to think about how we manage water because when it rains we see a lot of flooding yet we do not have systems for run-off and storm water management,” said Kaberia.

She called on cooperation between the national and county governments and other players in the water sector to achieve the goal of ensuring all Kenyans have access to safe drinking water.

Kaberia also urged Kenyans to adopt better water management strategies, saying that golf courses, for example, could use reclaimed water to irrigate their greens.