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Isiolo Drought Relief Response

The World Environment Day celebrated on the 5th of June annually, pushes the campaign of Only One Earth this year. The focus theme is Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature.

The theme is urging us to adopt sustainable lifestyles that respect and care for the natural surroundings. This in turn, will attempt to undo or at least ease the adverse effects of climate change such as disruptions of rain patterns or prolonged drought, severe storms, hotter temperatures, loss of species, more health risks, poverty, and food insecurity among others.

For three years, Kenya has been suffering from droughts. Yet again, Kenya is undergoing another drought season and parts of the country are hard hit facing severe food and water shortage. These areas are mostly the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). The underlying cause for these changes is global warming. The build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by a number of factors, such as uncontrolled deforestation, use of fossil fuels for production and transportation, human consumption, food waste, etc. is one of the key contributors to global warming.

Why should you care?

We have #OnlyOneEarth.

Left unattended, the negative effects of climate change will concern us all, they already do. No one is exempt from it.  Take climate actions now! We need to restore the earth now. Live sustainably.

According to the Kenya National Drought Management Authority, the number of people in need of assistance has increased since February this year from 3.1 million to 3.5 million this month.

There are 23 counties that are in dire need of food support. The Red Cross team has managed to support approximately 56,000 households in 16 counties. The GreenTour Kenya team- the Ecotourism Kenya and the Kenya Association of Tour Operators, is collaborating with the Kenya Red Cross to continue reaching out to affected families through the initiative Isiolo Drought Relief Response.

CALL TO ACTION!

The drought has robbed people in the affected areas of physical and mental well-being. These areas are mainly agricultural areas, relying on pastoral and farming for livelihood. The delayed rains have presented problems of low food which leads to food rationing, sale of livestock to sustain themselves, low expense on health and health deterioration, etc.

Isiolo Drought Relieve Response – raising money for food aid. The fundraiser starts on 3rd June 2022 and is targeting Kshs. 500,000.

Join us for a good cause.

The funds will be used to purchase basic food items that will be delivered to the affected households in Isiolo. Be a part of this initiative as we mobilize funds to acquire foodstuff to support families.

Join us!

You can participate in this through the M-Pesa M-changa platform.

Paybill Number: 891300

Account Number: FOODBKT

Alternatively,

Follow this link to donate: https://tinyurl.com/y3ycnbko

Your support is highly appreciated.

For any inquiries, reach Ms. Lynnet Kamonde through admin@ecotourismkenya.org 0r Ms. Mary Kimeu through info@ecotourismkenya.org

The initiative was conducted and is closed.

Thank you for your support.

 

Groundwater: The Precious Invisible Resource

The saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” However, this does not mean the subject of discussion is completely absent. Every year since 1993, 22nd March marks World Water Day when the world celebrates water and raises awareness of the numerous people living without access to safe water. Commemoration of World Water Day is about taking action to tackle water crisis the globally. This year’s theme is aimed to appreciate how precious groundwater is and make visible the invisible benefits it has.

Water has both direct and indirect uses. Direct uses include activities such as drinking, bathing, and cooking, while indirect uses of water include wood processing for purposes of making paper and steel production for automobiles. Largely, the use of water in the world is for agriculture, industry, and electricity. Water also has a close relationship with tourism as a sector that influences the development of tourism and its related activities. Cruise tours depend on water as a means of transport, water parks, and water-related excursions such as water rafting among others. Water attractions such as lakes, rivers, and oceans are sources of numerous aquatic attractions that tourists travel to view and experience. Additionally, when tourists visit they consume a lot of water either in drinking, while bathing, for swimming, and other recreational activities among others.

Groundwater is defined as freshwater underneath the surface of the earth found in spaces between rocks, soil, and sand. Groundwater comes from precipitation; melt ice/snow, surface water, runoff, etc. Groundwater is used in agricultural activities, ecosystem support, energy resources, urban and rural water supplies among others. Although unseen and assumed to always be there, groundwater’s availability and quality are threatened by a number of factors including, climate change, overexploitation, pollution by natural and human elements, land degradation, etc. Among other factors that encourage climate change, tourism is a big contributor. With the increased degrees of heat due to carbon dioxide emissions, evaporation of groundwater is imminent. This prevents groundwater from getting replenished. With little to no groundwater, industries including tourism will have a hard time operating. Tourism is not only competing with other industries to use groundwater but also contributing to its depletion. Groundwater conservation is therefore important as it will ensure its availability and good quality is sustained.

Factors affecting availability and quality of groundwater

Groundwater makes up approximately 30.1% of the world’s freshwater. The use of groundwater by various industries causes stress on the resource. Some of the ways groundwater is used in the tourism industry include; growing food for guests and local communities, as a source to water basins such as lakes, wetlands, acting as a support to ecosystems that host wildlife; a tourism resource, supporting livelihoods, etc.

Here are some actions that improve groundwater conservation:

  1. Establishment of suitable policies and regulations to direct proper management and handling of groundwater.
  2. Proper enforcement of the groundwater management laws to instill the discipline of sustainable practice of groundwater procedures.
  3. Construction of effectively functioning drainage systems should be to direct waste and water to their appropriate management sites. This will minimize flooding, pollution of groundwater and improve its quality.
  4. Wetlands, flood meadows, and two-stage ditches should be created to reduce surface water runoff.
  5. More water treatment facilities should be developed. This will improve the sanitation level of the water that is released back to the environment.
  6. More research and monitoring of groundwater should be done. This will provide up-to-date data which is important in informing the right decisions.
  7. Sustainable water management plans should be developed and put to use in tourism facilities. The Ecotourism Kenya’s Eco-Rating Certification program includes an integrative plan that puts into practice responsible water management. Read here:

https://ecotourismkenya.org/blog/water-management-and-conservation-for-tourism-facilities/

  1. Any action that works on mitigating climate change, in the long run, works in the best interest of groundwater conservation.
  2. Increasing surface water supply reduces the demand for groundwater. This downs the drilling of more boreholes.

 

Good groundwater management is needed to achieve SDG target 6.6 to protect and restore water-related ecosystems, and SDG target 15.1 on the conservation of freshwater ecosystems and their services.

How else can we conserve groundwater? Let us know in the comments below.