When it rains, it pours

Water is one of the biggest issues facing Kenyans today; there either seems to be too much or too little. Passing through Nairobi we witnessed what happens when a city is overwhelmed with too much water. On our way through, as the rain poured down, people were struggling through the flowing water and knee-deep mud. The following day the sun came out and we saw the impacts of the rains. We first noticed the people working in the drainage ditches to clear the accumulated garbage that was clogging the passages. They would pick up the waste and place it on a pile in the street; hopefully from there it will make it to the local dump before the next rainfall. Otherwise, life in Nairobi seems to go on with people straddling streams to buy chapatti. What was not evident were the dangers lurking below the surface such as disease and drinking water contamination. With the flooding only getting worst due to an increase in rainfall, how will we handle all this water? More importantly how will we handle the underlying issues? We seem to have come across yet another global health system issue relating to water. Although, water quantity may be the more obvious problem, but it is the issue of water quality that will truly impact the health of the people.

By: Jean Sauveur Uwitonze (MMASc in Global Health Systems in Africa Candidate); Kathleen Meszaros (Collaborative Program in Global Health Systems Candidate), Cynthia Okundi (BSc Commerce KCA University)

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