KEWASNET joined stakeholders in celebrating World Water Day held annually every 22nd day of March. This year’s regional celebration was held in Nyabera chief’s camp headquarters in Kisumu County under the theme “Water and Jobs”. The event was graced by the Deputy Governor, Her Excellency Ruth Odinga.
KEWASNET was privileged to plan and organize the event in partnership with other civil society organizations in Kisumu and above all Stakeholders from the county government of Kisumu. Main organizers of the event were WASH Networks within Kisumu County. In attendance were: The Cabinet Secretary for Environment Dr. Jenipher Ogaja, County Executive Committee Member for water Dr. Odera, Chief Officer Water & Environment Mr. Koyier, Chief Officer Environment Madam Loice Omoro, Chief Executive Officer LVSWSB, Managing Director KIWASCO - Eng. Dave Onyango, Partners such as Umande Trust, Sustainability Watch, SANA International, Vitens, NEMA and WASREB, Deputy County Commissioner Kisumu East, Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Hassan, Ward Administrators from Manyatta, Kondele, Nyalenda B , Nyalenda A , Kolwa East, and Migosi, Sub County Administrator Mr. Oricho, among other key stakeholders in the water sector.
World Water Day (WWD) dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. It has been held annually since then. Each year, UN-Water i.e. the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge.
The theme ‘Water and Jobs’, for the year 2016 provides an important opportunity to consolidate and build upon the previous World Water Days to highlight the two-way relationship between water and the decent work agenda in the quest for sustainable development. The theme is also focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers' lives and livelihoods and even transform societies and economies. Today, almost half of the world's workers work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights.
Activities of the day
The day was marked with various activities such as commissioning of Orongo water supply, tree planting in Nyabera chiefs camp, cleaning up river Auji in Kasagam, exhibitions by organizations, speeches and entertainment from Misango Arts, Kasagam secondary school, Kisumu Day Secondary and MMsha Primary school.
Cleaning Up Auji River
The event commenced with the clean up of river Auji at 10:00am. This is a river that should be used by the community along the Kasagam area but it is polluted hence cannot be used domestically or even for agriculture and it flows into Lake Victoria whereby it pollutes the lake water making its treatment quite expensive. The clean up was initiated to restore the river from its health risk status.
Planting trees can provide environmental benefits such as preventing soil erosion, providing shelter for wildlife and decreasing runoff of pollutants into the water. Trees offer energy-saving shade that reduces global warming and creates habitat for thousands of different species. Trees also help to reduce ozone levels in urban areas; they can improve water quality and help mitigate flooding. It is important to select the right varieties for planting along a waterway to ensure of their survival and success.