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By: Rading Biko
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2021
As Kenyans gears up for the General Elections August this year. But as they elect their leaders, a focus on various political parties’ manifestos should have a clause on Climate Change and Environment Conservation as one of those pillars.
We expect party manifestos to cover topics on climate change, as the future of our planet depends on what we do now and not later.
Your party should also inform you what measures they shall put in place in order to address disaster risk management such as the now common twin sisters, drought and flooding.
As part of promoting a cleaner environment there is a need for policy makers to ensure rural water access and supply a campaign tool. This has hitherto remained a pipe dream for many communities and there does not seem to be a solution soon especially when Climate Change leads to dry riverbeds.
There is a real need for promoting innovation in matters of water and sanitation. The COVID 19 pandemic has made potable water more precious than ever before. With the need to wash hands comes the demand for water and soap for hygienic purposes.
We are facing a future where the gains we have achieved are likely to be eroded when COVID-19 comes to an end yet some schools find it difficult to access enough water for maintaining the simple practice of hand wash that has been hailed for keeping SARS COVID -19 and flu at bay especially in schools.
Industries should also be encouraged to embrace biomass as an energy source without necessarily engaging in extractive forest resource use.
Planting of fast-growing trees should be a priority in all societies as we combat climate change through carbon sequestration.
Our technical institutions should teach green plumbing technologies that recognize that water is a scarce commodity and recycling and reuse systems that would go a long way to ameliorate the scarce resource by generating other sources of water.
The distribution of water to urban centres should be a priority in any party manifesto. Piped water availability helps save time for residents who otherwise would spend long hours in search of this precious commodity. Water management is therefore a crucial institutional development with the potential of transforming livelihoods for the better.
There is a need for investment in data collection and analysis on our waste management processes, both solid waste and liquid waste, in order to plan future development programs.
Such data analytics should go hand in hand with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications to assist in working from home as part of Covid-19 and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). As it is now, we hardly match the infrastructure with the population demand.
These issues offer opportunities for job creation and thus political parties are likely to enrich their manifesto with practical solutions to our environment and hygiene, which in return will see the country make progress in meeting the sustainable development goals or SDGs.
Daniel Wanjuki Lead Expert and CEO, Ecosave Africa Ltd.