by Peter Mutai
NAIROBI, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Kenya said Wednesday it has set plans to better re-use urban wastewater as its cities grow bigger.
Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation Eugene Wamalwa said the country's current water management systems are unable to cope with the faster-growing cities.
"We are set to use multipurpose technologies for water re-use and recovery of useful products," Wamalwa said in a statement to mark World Water Day.
He said the government was determined to keep the Indian Ocean clean by properly using the wastewater that can still be treated for recharge and irrigation purposes.
Wamalwa said the byproducts from the domestic wastewater such as salt, nitrogen and phosphorous have potential economic value ad will be used in improving livelihoods.
He also blamed uncollected garbage, industrial waste and overflowing sewers for the pollution of urban rivers that also spread waterborne diseases to the unsuspecting water users.
Kenya's water supply coverage has improved nationally from 56.9 percent to 58 percent during the 2015/2016 financial year, according to the ministry.
The country is also in the process of marching sewerage coverage by new water supply since sewerage coverage currently stands at 25 percent.
The ministry is constructing larger water reservoirs, boreholes, earth dams and water pans across the country to help raise per capita water storage capacity.
"We are applying water-saving technologies such as drip, sprinkler irrigation for upland crop cultivation and water-saving paddy cultivation," Principal Secretary for Irrigation Patrick Mwangi revealed.
He said that the available water resource for irrigation that currently stands at 22,564 million cubic meters per year is projected to increase to 26,634 million cubic meters per year in 2030.