Lake Victoria is the largest fresh water source in the Africa. In the western part of Kenya, it is also the largest free water source and also in the whole of Kenya. Along its shores is majorly occupied by fishermen, which means it is not only a water source but also a main source of income to thousands of people in Kenya. However, there lies a very big risk and exists a series of water borne diseases in this region. There is a very high rate of pollution into this lake;
1. There is no system for waste and sewage. This is caused by one major problem of lack of toilets in most of the parts of the Western Kenya. As a result, the human call for nature is done in the bushes and open places. This also happens in some of the regions where the rivers that channel water into the lake pass. This aspect has largely been contributed to by the fact that there is a very high level of illiteracy this region and the mixture of people from different regions including Uganda and Tanzania who move into these regions looking for sources of income.
2. There is a very big lack of knowledge about waste disposal, management and reuse. As a result there exists a problem of poor waste disposal which finally through different forms find their ways into the lake contributing to a very high rate of pollution.
Through the above two different forms of pollution, when there is rain, all these human wastes and solid wastes find their ways back into the lake polluting the water that is used by millions of habitants around the Lake Victoria.
3. The other great problem that exists here and affects a very high percentage of purity of the lake although is being ignored is burying bodies of the dead in tombs whose insides are not cemented. During decomposition and rainy seasons, all the bacteria pollute the underground water which finds its way into the lakes finally polluting the water largely. All these with all the biodegradable wastes that goes into the lake creates an oxygen depleting effect that contributes to having less oxygen in the water each day. This with other chemical pollution has also contributed to the death of many fish in the lake hence making the water unsafe. This water furthermore is used by the residents untreated.
4. A very common dangerous tradition especially amongst the fishermen here is responding to the call of nature in the water especially when they are fishing. This happens in large volumes and so frequently and all the time since people do fishing 24 hours of a day. This pollutes the lake water so much
5. A very common culture here is people bathing and doing laundry inside the lake. This act does not only pollute the water but also has led to spread of diseases greatly.
Given this need and real necessity for a solution to this environment, my idea is to come up with four related initiatives that will educate, prevent and improve knowledge, purity of water and the sanitation.
1. Given the high rate of illiteracy in this region, BOILING WATER FOR DRINKING AND DOMESTIC USE is a very economic, literacy-unnecessary and easy method that we can mobilize and educate the communities to adopt towards creating a healthy future. My initiative will organize home-to-home program teaching people this method that kills water germs at a temperature of around 70°C. Indeed, with wood fuel, this requires less than 10 minutes to boil. Given the availability and traditional use of wood fuel, what my initiative will stress on is the sanitation of the homesteads. With this method, we do not need to spend even a single penny to make water healthy for drinking. With no chemicals added, I believe it is the best method to purify water.
2. To prevent widespread of pollution and improve the general sanitation of this region that hosts more than 30 million residents and supports one of densest and poorest rural populations in the world (Global International Waters Assessment,2006), my initiative is to seek support to build toilets in this region where very few exist. This is meant to be done systematically one region after another beginning with the Bondo District in Kenya. To provide and improve sustainability and help our population save on costs, we are looking forward to building special mechanized toilets connected to a biodigestor between each three to five households. This is further meant to save on wood fuel, charcoal and paraffin that in one way or another always have great financial effects to the family or environmental effects to the lake and the future of the world. With this furthermore, the families are not going to struggle boiling the water for drinking and household use.
The built toilets are also meant to serve as bathrooms to totally avoid the issue of bathing and doing laundry inside the lake.
3. To avoid the rapid pollution and also improve on the sanitation of our fishermen, my initiative will improvise a portable small toilet which uses ash and saw dust to kill the micro bacteria and remove the smell to be carried while going fishing and be used instead of the water.
4. My initiative, with support from EARTH University, Costa Rica is will also educate the communities on how to safely dispose, recycle and reuse solid wastes without letting them pollute our waters and environment. This will not only help reduce pollution but also help create sources of income to the residents
Video source Youtub