Water Resource Management in Africa

In September 2010, the Honorable Mbau, a prominent member of the Kenyan parliament and chairman of the budget committee visited Sri Lanka as a gust of mine. I invited Hon. Mbau to Sri Lanka to see first-hand the water resource management infrastructure in Sri Lanka and to meet with engineers of the Central Engineering Consultancy as well as the Minister of Irrigation.

I have long been interested in improving the water resource management in Africa. I have seen first-hand the drought stricken areas and done relief work in famine regions. I have seen the devastation of floods. And the devastation of diseases that spread from lack of water, and not having proper drinking water. For these reasons, I talked to members of the Kenyan parliament about developing better water resource management systems. Hon. Mbau was very interested and so I set up a weeklong tour to see the Sri Lankan water management system and meet the engineers.

During the week that I hosted Hon. Mbau, we visited Kandy, Anuradhapura, Colombo and Polonnaruw. We saw reservoirs that I had previously renovated during my humanitarian projects,. We visited other huge reservoir and damn projects in Sri Lanka. We toured a new hydro power plant, which brings in water underground for 8 miles, produces electricity, and pushes the water to the other side of the mountain to be used for farming.

Sri Lanka, much like Kenya, has to manage their rainy season to off-set their dry season. During the rainy season, much of the land can be washed away. And during the dry season, the land can be so arid that the animals die from dehydration. Everyone agrees that aggressive measures need to be taken to address the issue of water.

Hon. Mbau and I ended the trip with much hope. After traveling with the engineers and learning how to build reservoirs and damns, and capturing and diverting water, they are eager to bring this infrastructure to Kenya. Very soon, the engineers from Sri Lanka will visit Kenya to begin their initial research and study program on the water management system in Kenya. They will produce proposals for a couple of water management projects.

Improving the water management system in Kenya will be a monumental event as it will protect environment, help wildlife, and provide clean water to many people.

I would like to thank Hon. Mbau for his week long journey through Sri Lanka, as well as the engineers of the Central Engineering Consultancy and the Minister of Irrigation for their time and work.