Utilise rain water to boost economy

Monday, April 22nd, 2024 06:00 | By
State of roads in Kitengela town following the ongoing heavy rains . PHOTO/Christine Musa
State of roads in Kitengela town following the ongoing heavy rains. PHOTO/Christine Musa

With the rainfall currently pounding the country, Kenyans must ensure they leverage it to positively impact the economy in various ways.

This is because rainfall is a major economic enabler. The the rains boost agricultural productivity by ensuring ample water supply for crops, leading to increased yields and reduction of food prices.

It has replenished water reservoirs, supporting hydroelectric power generation, which can stabilize electricity supply and reduce dependency on costly fuel-based power sources.

The rainfall will also help stimulate tourism as lush landscapes attract more visitors, contributing to revenue generation and job creation in the hospitality sector.

Overall, while excessive rainfall may pose short-term challenges like floods, its long-term benefits for agriculture, energy, and tourism can significantly bolster the economy.

Indications are that the cost of living will come down further on the back of this favourable climate, since key commodities are now in plenty.

What the government must do, however, is put in place strategies to ensure that we move away from a rain-fed system so that Kenya doesn’t wait for rainfall to grow food.

This mentality must take the backseat given concerns around climate change.

This demands more investment in water harvesting, storage and utilisation of irrigation as an option for farming, so as to make the economy more sustainable.

With increase in climate smart technology, there is no reason why Kenya is not a net exporter of food. To achieve this, there must be concerted efforts by the State and all experts in the value chain to ensure this happens as soon as possible.

The irony is that while to a vast majority of Kenyans rain is seen a lifeline to others it poses an existential threat. There have been cases in which people have been displaced from their homes and property destroyed by floods.

But as it has been pointed out, the major challenge is poor harvesting of rainwater. Experts say this is a sustainable method of conservation involving collecting rainwater runoff from manmade or natural catchments to store for later use.

Many farms and facilities have successfully created water systems to capture and store rainwater for food production.

If well utilized, rainwater can turn Kenya from an importer to a net exporter of food. That is why relevant officials must wake up and smell the coffee.

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