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National Water Summit lives up to its billing

The National Water Summit 2014, an initiative of Mount Kenya University, was held last week at Kristine’s Camp along the shores of Lake Turkana. The who is who in regional water sector participated in the two-day event, which was officially opened by H.E Mwai Kibaki, former president of Kenya on Oct. 9. Among the high profile participants were MKU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stanley Waudo, H.E Josphat Nanok, Governor, Turkana County, Amb. Titus Ekai, Principal Secretary, State Department of Sports and Culture, James Teko, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Dr. Michal Mlynar, the Ambassador of Slovakia to Kenya, and Dr Mohamed Djelid, the UNESCO Regional Director. The summit was attended by representatives from Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Germany, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Rwanda and Slovakia and USA.

Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stanley Waudo prepares to present a gift to H.E Mwai Kibaki during the opening ceremony of 2014 National Water Summit held last week in Turkana County. The retired president is the patron of the Millenium Water Alliance-Kenya. Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stanley Waudo prepares to present a gift to H.E Mwai Kibaki during the opening ceremony of 2014 National Water Summit held last week in Turkana County. The retired president is the patron of the Millenium Water Alliance-Kenya. Water for Socio-Economic Development was the key theme in the summit, which had seven sub-themes.   
H.E Mwai Kibaki called on summit participants to explore how best use of water to effectively boost agricultural production, mining, manufacturing and recreation. He called for upping of awareness for people to boost rainwater harvesting to reduce the pressure on existing water sources. This Summit marks a new beginning in the road map of water management in Kenya and the region”, said H.E Kibaki, who is the patron of the Millenium Water Alliance-Kenya.It provides the perfect moment to retool policies related to water management in general. We should critically examine our efficacy in utilizing water, particularly ground water, as a catalyst for development.”  

In his address, Prof. Waudo observed that there are several socio-economic issues inherently intertwined with water. These include poverty eradication, education, gender equality, reduction of child mortality, improved maternal health, and  environmental sustainability. A dedicated water goal is critical as part of the development agenda with measurable targets and indicators in support of life, well-being, economic development and the environment, he said, adding, Mount Kenya University will continue to explore and nurture knowledge, skills, attitudes and research that support and contribute to Water Sustainable Development Goals and further encourage progress to achieve reasonable water security not only in Kenya but in the world as a whole.
Dr. Kennedy Mutundu, Dean, School of Social Sciences at MKU and senior lecturer in Environmental Anthropology presented a paper titled “Water and Education: The link to poverty reduction and sustainable development in marginal contexts.”

Turkana County Governor H.E Josphat Nanok said that inspite of the discovery of huge water acquifers in the county, only 40% of a population of 1.2 million people have access to safe drinking water. We will favourably consider all the practical recommendations from this summit. We are conscious of the importance of this meeting and its contribution in support of our efforts as a county to realize our objectives in the water sector for the benefit of our people.
Other senior MKU officials who graced the event include Dr Vincent Gaitho, vice chair of the university council (who chaired the summit steering committee), Dr. George Njonge, council member, Pro-Chancellor Prof Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha, (who officially closed the summit), Prof John Nderitu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Linkages and Reource Mobilization and Prof. Peter Wanderi, Director, Quality Assurance.

  1. A communique of the National Water Summit 2014
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