April 21, 2022

Water Scarcity in Kenya: A Dire Crisis

Water Scarcity in Kenya

Water scarcity is something familiar to the African region. Many African countries lack access to clean water at their disposal.  It is well-researched that 1 in 3 Africans face water scarcity. 400 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to clean drinking water.

Kenya is on the East African coast, yet it is facing one of the worst droughts of its time. Wajir county borders the  Indian Ocean. Thus, the people of the Wajir Region struggle to survive without access to clean water. 

Lack of water scarcity affecting people in Kenya:

Roughly 40 million people live in Kenya, and almost half don’t have clean water access. The population is large in proportion to the small country. This makes water access skewed. While there may be access to water, this water isn’t clean, and Kenyans don’t have the means to filter this water.

People are drinking dirty water out of desperation. Diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid, dehydration from diarrhea, etc., are rising. The risk to their health and well-being cannot be at stake. Access to clean water is their fundamental right to life. 

Climate change is exacerbating the water crisis issue in Kenya. The country is facing a severe drought with 30% of its average rainfall. It is the worst short rain season in decades.  

Lack of rainfall affects the citizen’s access to water. Pastures and agricultural livelihood are declining. So, families are drowning deep in poverty.

Story of Zenab Jule


Zenab Jule is an expecting mother with two other children in Africa. She is poverty-stricken due to the droughts. Zenab has only been feeding them maize. She says, “both toddlers are suffering from diarrhea. It is a common symptom of malnourishment among children below five.”

This water crisis affects not just the people, crops, and animals in Kenya but also the children. Children often have to drop out of school to help their families or follow them to other areas in search of water. The average length of a person fetching clean water is approximately 9 miles. Thus, they intend to pack up and move for better living conditions. 

Water scarcity is a complex issue with no clear solution. However, many companies are formulating solutions to ensure clean water accessibility. 

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