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In many places, people have lived their entire lives without ever experiencing a potable water supply system. Rather, they have relied on the natural systems provided through fresh water creeks, streams and rivers.
In some communities, especially on the coast, people rely on rainwater and or have to fetch water from nearby or distant communities where potable water is available.
To its credit, the Government has taken commendable steps to address the situation with the Ministry of Water spearheading the drive to improve water supply around the country.
Consequently, many communities now have reasonably good water supply systems, especially in the outlying regions.
However, it must be acknowledged that there is still a far way to go, and the authorities recognise this.
Water is also essential to the growing of crops and here complicated problems arise, where sometimes excess water causes flooding of agricultural fields, while in other cases there are severe shortages. There are times when one set of farmers need water while another group planting in the same vicinity does not need and this sometimes results in counter-productive antagonistic conflicts among farmers.
These problems have to be resolved through improved drainage and irrigation systems and better water management, but they must be addressed with some sense of urgency, because it has been predicted that in this century availability of water will be a grave problem.
According to The Panos Institute: "Water is predicted by many to be one of the major resource crises in the coming century. Despite the fact that growing food is completely dependent on water, there is little room for further expansion. Only a tiny proportion of the globe's water (between one and two thousandths) is available for human use and agriculture already uses 70 per cent of this. Ten per cent of current food production depends on mined ground water; and water tables are dropping as much as one metre per year in some parts of China, India, Mexico and Yemen..."
So the work is cut out for farmers, agriculturists, civil engineers and the department responsible for drainage and irrigation and all consumers of water to conserve on the use of water through responsible and efficient use of this vital commodity.
It is disgusting to see water taps left flowing in yards around the country and there is added wastage through faulty pipelines and connections.
The use of water meters in some parts of the country is intended to reduce this particular problem.
People must be made to understand that water is too precious and vital a commodity to be recklessly wasted and this is a message that has to be driven home before it is too late.
Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that water is utilised in the most efficient and cost effective manner.