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Darare Gonche of Iremo has just shared this new video about Covid-19 and a worsening water shortage in Marsabit county in Kenya. The video - Marsabit’s water crisis during Covid-19 - is produced by Mamo Guyo for Iremo during September/October 2020. See the video here:
In addition to the video, Iremo shares this background information on covid-19 and water shortage in Marsabit:
During this time of Covid-19, the risks people of Marsabit are exposed to by inadequate water supply are even greater than usual. Due to scarcity of this precious commodity, as well as the inability of many to afford it, residents are unable to follow the guidelines on frequent hand-washing and general hygiene. The video looks at the impact and risks of insufficient water supply during the pandemic in a situation, where the water demand is 20 times higher than the supply. The video also explains about some of the efforts communities and local authorities are taking to preserve the little water they have.
Some parts of Marsabit town have been without water for days as distribution stations meant to help thousands run dry. This makes frequent hand washing and general hygiene for a successful fight against the coronavirus pandemic a challenge. The Haro Bota dam, which particularly the poor depend on, has dried up and now one 20 liter jerrican of water from commercial vendors cost kshs.40 to 50 (around usd 0.5).
The water situation is not only affecting the domestic space but also the cultural practices around religion. Mosques are turning away worshippers due to insufficient water.
Water demand in town is around 4,000 cubic meters per day but the supply capacity is a meagre 200 cubic meters. Previous attempts by the government to address this chronic water crisis in the county evaporated in a massive looting of funds (intended to build a new dam) 13 years ago.
Currently, the government is constructing the Bakuli 4 dam and some smaller pans in different locations to address the current water crisis in Marsabit Town of Saku Sub County. The other 3 sub counties have areas, which will face similar challenges if the expected short rains fail.
With the covid-19 still spreading, there is a greater need than ever for water and for the citizens of Marsabit solving the decade long water crisis is more urgent than ever.