Kitui County has constructed 14 dams in a bid geared towards harvesting surface runoff water in selected viable catchments during the shot rains season, Bishop Joseph Kyavoa, has said.
Speaking on Thursday during an inspection tour of Kakovu earth dam in Mwitika, Kitui East Sub-County, Bishop Kyavoa, who is an advisor in the office of Governor Charity Ngilu observed that some of the earth dams have already harvested water from the recent rains.
“Kwa Kalii earth dam in Kanziku ward, Kitui South Sub County as below is now full of water. This will serve a population of 500 people and 1,200 livestock,” he said.
Bishop Kyavoa disclosed that rainwater harvesting has been in existence for many decades as a way of augmenting available water resources in the world.
‘In the years of its existence, rainwater harvesting has positively impacted life, agriculture and economy,” he added.
Despite these known benefits of rainwater harvesting, Kitui County’s population is slowly adopting rainwater harvesting technologies, ‘Water scarcity still remains a major constraint to life and economic development in the County.’
Although clean and safe water is a treasured commodity, many people in Kitui County do not have access to it.
People from the hilly places in the county rely on springs and shallow wells to get their water for domestic use whereas in the low lands they mainly use boreholes, sand dams and earth dams as their sources of water.
Caritas Kitui Director Florence Ndeti observes that water shortage affects rural women more since it’s their cultural role to provide water.
“They are more concerned with rainwater harvesting projects as compared to men. Therefore, training and awareness creation on rainwater harvesting amongst women should be enhanced,” said Ndeti.
She said that literacy levels influence adoption of rainwater harvesting to enable school going children attend lessons rather than being at home helping their parents search for water for domestic use.
However, residents says that poverty which is a major setback to the adoption of rainwater harvesting should be alleviated by promoting income generation activities steered by the county government to enhance adoption of rainwater harvesting strategies.
By Yobesh Onwong’a