KENYA: Egyptian expertise to improve access to water in the face of drought

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KENYA: Egyptian expertise to improve access to water in the face of drought©Kenyan Ministry of Water

In addition to the Nairobi Declaration, the African Climate Summit, which closed in Kenya on 6 September 2023, provided an opportunity to strengthen inter-state relations, particularly in the water sector. Egypt will provide its expertise to William Ruto's country in the implementation of a new water project involving the construction of 10 water basins in arid and semi-arid areas.

Kenya wants to win the battle against drought. On 4 September 2023, during the African Climate Summit, the Kenyan government signed a partnership agreement with the Egyptian authorities. The country of the pharaohs will support Kenya in implementing a water project involving “the construction of 10 water basins, 10 groundwater wells and a model farm of around 40.5 hectares in the arid and semi-arid zones (ASAL), as well as in the Lake Victoria region”, explains Alice Wahome, Cabinet Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation. The Asals represent 89% of Kenya’s territory and are home to 38% of the country’s population.

The future facilities should improve the water supply to farmers, improving the food security of populations that are currently vulnerable. In this country in the Horn of Africa, 6 million people are food insecure.

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As well as improving access to water, increasing the area of irrigated land in Kenya will boost agricultural production. Currently estimated at around 271,140 hectares, the Kenyan authorities aim to increase this area to more than 526,091 hectares over the next two years.

Given its expertise in implementing hydraulic projects and its knowledge of the effects of drought, Egypt will also be training Kenyan managers in water resource management and irrigation. They will be trained at the African Centre for Water and Climate Adaptation and the diploma in water resources at Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering.

Inès Magoum

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