State turns to ocean water to fight drought
‘Desert countries have used desalination to get supply for farming, consumption’
The national government will invest in water desalination projects along the coastline and dams to fight drought, Special Programmes PS Josepheta Mukobe has said.
“We need a place to store [the desalinated] water, such as water pans and dams so we can come up with irrigation schemes to produce food,” she said. Mukobe spoke on Friday during a drought assessment tour in Kilifi county.
Some 1.3 million people face starvation in the Coast and Northeastern regions. The National Drought Management Authority last week announced that the ongoing drought could last until September next year.
The government is giving out relief food in the affected areas as a short term measure but the plan is to have a permanent solution.
Research has shown that through desalination, the Coast can produce enough water for consumption, irrigation and storage. For centuries des- ert countries such as Egypt have used desalination to get enough water for farming and human consumption, Mukobe said.
She said the government is purchasing livestock. Mukobe denied claims of lack of coordination between the government and other agencies in distributing relief food. She said a food distribution committee is in charge and it has representation from all stakeholders.
Dock Workers Union chairman Simon Sang and Deputy President William Ruto during a meeting with DWU members at KPA Sports Club, Mbaraki, Mombasa, yesterday