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Sustainable programmes boost growth

By By Isaac Kalua | May 4th 2014 | 2 min read
By By Isaac Kalua | May 4th 2014

By Isaac Kalua

The basic needs of food, shelter and water should be the preoccupations of any individual or governments. All of God’s children should be able to put food on the table, have a roof over their heads and access safe drinking water at all times.  All other things should uphold and enhance these three.

This means that vital ventures like infrastructure improvement must be primarily undertaken on the basis of their enhancement of food, shelter and water.

Sustainability is much more than environmental conservation. Sustainability is really about guaranteeing sufficient food, shelter and water not just today but also tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

For Kenya to meet the basic needs of all the 40 million Kenyans, it needs to embrace sustainability in a holistic, strategic and consistent manner.

Food security is what you get when you join food and sustainability. As of late last year, Kenya’s available maize stock was 1.2 million metric tonnes. This was almost 30 per cent below the country’s five-year average. This below-than-average reality was occasioned by shorter long rains and fertiliser shortage together with other social reasons. The secret to avoiding such crop shortage scenarios lies in sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable agriculture is economically viable, socially supportive and ecologically sound. Sustainable agriculture ensures that farmers maintain and increase their crop because it makes economic sense to do so.  

When it comes to shelter, the housing bust that precipitated the US economic crisis in 2008 is proof that sustainability must be infused into shelter. Subprime mortgages financed house purchases that later collapsed like a pack of cards. At some point in the years leading to this crisis, there was a severe dearth of foresight.

Sustainability in Kenya’s housing sector means that the country must have housing foresight and a holistic strategy on how this links to other sectors. It’s not just about green architecture that saves energy although this is vital. It is also about houses becoming thresholds of increased productivity. Where I sleep at night will definitely impact how productive I am during the day.

When it comes to water, Kenya recently struck immense water aquifers in Turkana. It may, therefore, seem as if our water troubles are over. However, sustainability in the water sector means that water should be equitably, consistently and strategically distributed to houses, industries and farms. Irrigation taps into and distributes water towards crop production.

Sustainability shall ensure that basic needs are met in the short and long terms.

Think green, Act green!

The writer is the founder and chairperson, Green Africa Foundation and and runs a blog on conservation—www.isaackalua.com

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