Climate and Resources Update: Government Plans to Solve Water Menace, Wealth Inequality on the Rise, South Africa Struggles with Power and Water Shortages

Climate Crisis Deepens as Wealth Inequality Soars: Oxfam Report Shows Richest One Percent Accumulating 63% of New Wealth

A new report by Oxfam, an international anti-poverty charity, reveals that the world’s richest one percent have accumulated at least $26 trillion, or 63% of all new wealth created globally since 2020, while the rest of the world struggles with inflation, increasing income inequality, and a worldwide economic recession. The report warns that the wealth of the richest few will continue to skyrocket at the expense of the poor if governments do not implement stringent tax measures to curb their accumulation of wealth. Oxfam’s report also shows that the 130 wealthiest individuals in Kenya have more wealth than 33 million Kenyans combined, and the richest one percent have accumulated seven times more wealth than the poorest 50 percent of the population between 2020 and 2021.

Climate Change: The Simple, Serious, and Solvable Existential Threat

Climate change is an existential threat that requires immediate action. The causes of global warming are simple, the consequences are serious, and the solutions are solvable. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere cause the ozone layer to deplete, leading to an increase in temperature and a variety of negative consequences such as drought, melting of ice, and rising sea levels. To combat this, we must invest in clean and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, which would not cost more than 1% of GDP. We also urge everyone to rethink their carbon footprint and take action to protect the environment by planting trees, conserving water, and using alternative sources of energy.

Kenya Launches Ambitious Plan to Address Water Shortages with 10,000 Projects

The Kenyan government has launched an ambitious plan called the “Water 10,000 program” to deliver clean, safe and adequate water for all Kenyans. The program will focus on short, medium and long-term water projects that require minimal cost but have high impact and a quick turnaround, including construction of boreholes, water pans, small dams and springs, desilting of existing pans and dams, and solarization for sustainability. Under the short-term plan, the government aims to construct small dams and boreholes, while under the long-term plan, 100 large dams will be built across the country to address the water problem permanently. The government is also planning to complete sanitation projects in the counties under a medium-term plan, which is between six months and one year.

South Africa Struggles with Power and Water Shortages

South Africa is facing a crisis as power utility Eskom implemented Stage 6 of load shedding and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) approved a 18.6% tariff increase. This means that power cuts are scheduled over a four-day period for four hours at a time, and residents will be paying more for electricity that they are not getting enough of. The prolonged, high stages of load-shedding are also having an impact on water supply operations in the city, notably in the hilly neighbourhood areas where water needs to be pumped to get to people’s homes. The author reflects on their experiences living through rationing of water and power in Nairobi in 2000, and in Cape Town’s countdown to Day Zero in 2018, and draws parallels to the current situation in South Africa.

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The Implications of Changing Precipitation Patterns on Water Resource Management in Africa

Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on precipitation patterns in Africa, and the effect on water resource management in the region is of great concern. The continent is already facing water scarcity, and the changes in precipitation patterns will only exacerbate the problem. It is essential that Africa understands and prepares for these changes to ensure a sustainable future for its water resources.

Water availability

One of the most significant impacts of changing precipitation patterns in Africa is on water availability. The region is expected to experience more frequent and severe droughts due to decreased rainfall, which will lead to water scarcity and increased competition for limited water resources. This is particularly concerning for rural communities and smallholder farmers who rely heavily on rainfall for their livelihoods.

UN drought appeal 2023
A man gives water to a thirsty donkey in drought-stricken Kenya.

Another impact of changing precipitation patterns is on water quality. Increased rainfall can cause erosion and sedimentation, leading to the degradation of water quality. Additionally, heavy rainfall can wash pollutants into waterways, resulting in contamination of drinking water sources. This is a major concern for many African communities that already lack access to clean water.

How can we adapt?

Adaptation strategies that can help African communities and industries to cope with changing precipitation patterns include:
Investing in water storage infrastructure to capture and store water during periods of high rainfall for use during dry periods.
Implementing water-saving measures, such as using drought-tolerant crops or implementing water-efficient irrigation systems.
Developing early warning systems for floods and droughts to help communities prepare and respond quickly.
Creating green infrastructure to manage storm water and reduce the risk of flooding.
Building sea walls and other coastal protection measures to protect against sea level rise.
It’s important to note that changing precipitation patterns will have different impacts in different regions of Africa and on different sectors, so it’s crucial that water resource management strategies are tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of each community.


In conclusion, changing precipitation patterns as a result of climate change will have a significant impact on water resource management in Africa. The continent is already facing water scarcity, and the changes in precipitation patterns will only exacerbate the problem. It is essential that Africa understands and prepares for these changes to ensure a sustainable future for its water resources.

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What you can expect in climate change in Kenya in 2023

United Nations and partners call for $472.6 million to respond in 2023 as the drought in Kenya deepens

The United Nations and partners are calling for $472.6 million in aid to help 4.3 million drought-affected people in Kenya in 2023, as the crisis is expected to worsen. The drought in Kenya is the longest and most severe in recent history, and the needs of those in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) region continue to rise. It is estimated that 6.4 million people in ASALs will need humanitarian assistance in 2023.

At least 4.35 million people are going hungry and about 5 million do not have access to clean water. There have also been reports of children dropping out of school and increases in child marriage cases. Despite being an underfunded crisis, 89 humanitarian partners reached nearly 1 million people with aid between January and September 2022. However, the exceptional duration and severity of the drought has led to projections of a possible sixth consecutive poor rainy season from March to May 2023.

UN drought appeal 2023
A man gives water to a thirsty donkey in drought-stricken Kenya.

Below-average short rains ameliorate rangeland resources, but conditions remain poor.

The historic drought in Kenya is continuing, with the October to December 2022 short rains being the fifth consecutive below-average season. Rainfall at the end of November was less than 70% of the 30-year average across most of the country, with large areas in the northwest, north, and east recording less than 55% of the average. The short rains have provided some stabilization in water and pasture conditions in northern Kenya’s pastoral areas, but vegetation greenness is still less than 60% of the 10-year average.

In western Kenya, rainfall is average to above average, supporting agricultural production. Across pastoral areas, rangeland resources are still well below normal, and poor vegetation and long trekking distances for water are maintaining poor livestock conditions and low milk production. In the marginal agricultural areas, the area planted with staple food is below average due to the late onset and below-average rainfall, as well as constrained access to income for seeds and inputs. Staple food prices remain high across the country due to successive below-average production seasons, high demand, high marketing costs, and reduced cross-border imports. This is limiting household purchasing power, particularly for poor market-dependent households.

Kenya forecast for 2023
Map of Kenya showing expected food insecurity conditions in 2023.

Tree Planting Initiative to Benefit Local Community in 2023

On November 9th, 2022, Laikipia Air Base (LAB) in Nanyuki, Kenya, partnered with Kenya Water Towers to launch a tree planting initiative with the goal of planting over 30,000 trees within the region. This initiative is not only part of the Kenya Defence Forces’ environmental soldier program, but it is also expected to benefit the local community in 2023 by improving air quality and providing a source of shade and possibly even fruit.

The tree planting is also in support of the country’s plan to plant 5 billion new trees as part of its climate change mitigation efforts. The Base Commander, Brigadier Mohamud Farah, thanked Kenya Water Towers for their donation of 15,230 tree seedlings and participation in the program. The event was attended by LAB Commanding Officers, officers, base sergeant major, service members, and representatives from Kenya Water Towers.

Kdf tree planting Laikipia
Soldiers planting trees at Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki, Kenya.

Understanding the Effects of the Drought in Kenya on the Economy and Financial Situation in 2023

In 2021, Kenya’s economy grew by 6.7% after a contraction of 0.3% in 2020. Growth was driven by the service industry and private consumption, which both benefited from supportive policies and eased COVID-19 restrictions. Inflation increased to 6.1% in 2021 from 5.3% in 2020 due to higher input costs. The fiscal deficit decreased to 7.9% of GDP in 2021 from 8% in 2020 due to improved revenue, reversed tax cuts, and reduced spending. Public debt rose to 68% of GDP at the end of June 2021 from 63% in 2020 due to the primary deficit. Kenya is at high risk of debt distress.

The current account deficit increased to 5.2% of GDP in 2021 because of a larger trade deficit. International reserves reached $8.8 billion at the end of November 2021 compared to $8.1 billion in 2020 (5.4 months of import coverage), due in part to a $737.6 million allocation from the Special Drawing Rights. The exchange rate depreciated by 3.7% year-on-year in 2021. The banking sector is profitable, liquid, and well-capitalized. Yields on government securities and the NSE-20 index, as well as market capitalization, have increased. The number of people living in extreme poverty decreased to 16% in 2021 from 17% in 2020, and unemployment fell to 12.3% from 14.3% over the same period. This can be attributed to growth in per capita income, social safety net programs, and economic recovery.

Growth is expected to slow to 5.9% in 2022 and 5.7% in 2023 due to reduced domestic and external demand caused by lower income and higher costs for food and fuel imports, as well as weak economic activity across sectors due to cost-push factors. Inflation is expected to reach 7%, close to the upper end of the target range (7.5%), because of higher energy and food inflation. The fiscal deficit is expected to narrow to 6.5% of GDP in 2022 and 5.5% in 2023 with the resumption of an International Monetary Fund-supported fiscal consolidation and debt management program. The current account deficit is expected to widen further to 6.1% and 5.2% of GDP over the next two years due to higher bills for fuel and food imports. Risks to this outlook.

Climate Change: A Threat to Kenya’s Prosperity in 2023

In conclusion, climate change is expected to have a negative impact on Kenya’s economy in 2023. Growth is predicted to slow and inflation is expected to increase, while the fiscal and current account deficits are expected to worsen. These economic challenges will likely affect the livelihoods and well-being of the people of Kenya. It is important for the country to continue implementing policies and measures to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change in order to protect its citizens and economy.

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Climate change explained.

Weather vs climate

Weather and climate are often confused to have the same meaning but the two words have different meanings. Weather describes the general atmosphere—its temperature, humidity, wind, rainfall and so on over the period of a few days. Climate on the other hand is recorded over a longer period of time, up to 30 years.

What is climate change?

Climate change is a change in the statistical properties of the climate system that persists for several decades or longer—usually at least 30 years. These statistical properties include averages, variability and extremes. Climate change may be due to natural processes, such as changes in the Sun’s radiation, volcanoes or internal variability in the climate system, or due to human influences such as changes in the composition of the atmosphere or land use.

What about global warming?

Global warming is just one aspect of climate change. In fact, they say that global warming refers to the rise in global temperatures due mainly to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. On the other hand, climate change refers to the increasing changes in the measures of climate over a long period of time – including precipitation, temperature, and wind patterns.

What Causes Climate Change?

Global climate varies naturally over time scales from decades to thousands of years and longer. These natural variations can originate in two ways: from internal fluctuations that exchange energy, water and carbon between the atmosphere, oceans, land and ice, and from external influences on the climate system, including variations in the energy received from the sun and the effects of volcanic eruptions.

Drought in Taita Taveta
Kenya Red Cross volunteer Elelo Galmagal at Ebeso sublocation examines the carcass of a camel that died due to severe drought in Marsabit County. The government in collaboration with the red cross kicked off livestock offtake program to cushion pastoralists from losses incurred by drought. August 1, 2022. Jack Owuor

Today, human activities are directly increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, plus some chemically manufactured greenhouse gases such as halocarbons. These human generated gases enhance the natural greenhouse effect and further warm the surface.

If water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, why all the fuss about CO2?

Water vapour accounts for about half the natural greenhouse effect. Its concentrations in the atmosphere are controlled mainly by atmospheric temperatures and winds, in contrast with the concentrations of other greenhouse gases which are directly influenced by human-induced inputs of these gases to the atmosphere. When global average atmospheric temperatures rise, global water vapour concentrations increase, amplifying the initial warming through an enhanced greenhouse effect. In this way, human activity leads indirectly to increases in water vapour concentrations.

The reality of the water vapour feedback is supported by recent observations and analyses. Increased water vapour concentrations have been observed and attributed to warming, and this feedback approximately doubles the sensitivity of climate to human activities.

What climate change means for the future.

Extreme weather events are already more intense across the globe, threatening lives and livelihoods.

With further warming, some regions could become uninhabitable, as farmland turns into desert. East Africa is currently facing its fifth season of failed rains, which the UN’s World Food Programme says has put up to 22 million people at risk of severe hunger.

Extreme temperatures can also increase the risk of wildfires – as seen in Europe this summer. France and Germany recorded about seven times more land burnt between January and the middle of July 2022, compared with the average.

Hotter temperatures also mean that previously frozen ground will melt in places like Siberia, releasing greenhouse gases trapped for centuries into the atmosphere, further worsening climate change.

A forest fire

In other regions, extreme rainfall is causing historic flooding – as seen recently in China, Pakistan and Nigeria.

People living in developing countries are expected to suffer the most as they have fewer resources to adapt to climate change. But there is frustration from these nations as they have produced the least greenhouse gas emissions.

  • The UK and Europe will be vulnerable to flooding caused by extreme rainfall
  • Countries in the Middle East will experience extreme heatwaves and widespread drought
  • Island nations in the Pacific region could disappear under rising seas
  • Many African nations are likely to suffer droughts and food shortages
  • Drought conditions are likely in the western US, while other areas will see more intense storms
  • Australia is likely to suffer extremes of heat and increases in deaths from wildfires
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Handover of the wastewater plant

Collaborating to provide solutions for Cure.

CESP Africa had the privilege and honor of helping Cure International hospital in their mission to provide world class specialized care for children with disabilities.

Cure International Hospital is a Christian based non-profit organization with one of their branches based in Kijabe. With a focus on treating disabilities among children who would otherwise be unable to access medical services.

Cesp Africa partnered with Cure to provide a Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) wastewater treatment system. In accordance with National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) our plant treats their wastewater to approved standards where it could be released to the surrounding environment safely.

The process

Breaking ground

The construction started with a breaking ground ceremony where CESP Africa and Cure joined hands to bless the project we were about to begin.


After excavation the construction process begins. We constructed the wastewater plant, perimeter wall and control room.

Completion and Handing over

After the construction was complete, the plant was connected to the sewage system and can begin treating wastewater.

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The future of sustainable affordable housing in Kenya.

On 11th October 2022 President Ruto inspected the Kings Serenity Affordable Housing Programme project in Ongata Rongai. The Kings Serenity housing project is part of the Boma Yangu initiative whose main agenda is to provide affordable housing to Kenyans. The project aims to provide 15,000 affordable housing units.

The Kings Serenity project is part of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s affordable housing programme under the Big Four agenda.

As well as the project in Ongata Rongai the programme also aims to build housing units in Mukuru kwa Reuben as well as other areas in the country.


With so many housing units being constructed there will be a huge strain on the existing infrastructure, including wastewater sewage management and water provision. CESP Africa has provided a wastewater management system to aid that strain.

We are in the process of installing a complete wastewater treatment plant that will be complete and operational before 2023, before residents move into the housing units. The treatment plant will not only treat the wastewater produced in the project but will also recycle water that can be used for watering plants and cleaning the environs.

The system is an important part of keeping the overall housing project affordable as it reduces the need for provision of water by other water providers.

The future.

As the Kings Serenity project comes to a close, we hope to be future partners in the provision of affordable housing in Kenya. Not only recycling wastewater but also providing treated water for future housing projects.

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drought kenya

The drought because of 4 failed rainy seasons.

Globally the effects of global warming are evident, the drought in East Africa being an obvious sign. The average sea level has risen by 10cm in the last 30 years. In 2021 there was depletion of the ozone over Antarctica between August and December, creating what is known as the “ozone hole”.

“The 2021 hole was larger and deeper than 70% of ozone holes since 1979, reaching a maximum area of 24.8 million km 2,”

We don’t have to look far to see the real-world effects of climate change. Compounded by other factors, like COVID 19 and the war in Ukraine, the ongoing drought has manifested in increased price of products. Local production has also been hit hard, with maize outputs estimated to be 42-70 per cent below average. Though the areas most affected by the drought are the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya.

Northern and north-eastern Kenya have been hit the worst by the drought. Again, the drought is compounded with other events to produce the situation we have found ourselves in today. COVID 19, locusts in 2021 and four failed rainy seasons.

Communities in the region that rely on pastoralism and the rains have been hit, potentially irreversibly. Experts say that to recover from one failed rainy season takes 5 years, the amount of time it takes for a calf to reach maturity. And though the people are resilient, 4 failed rainy seasons may be one too many.

With many herds shrinking in size, many are not able to sustain their culture of keeping cattle as a livelihood and sign of wealth, most people in the region are only surviving. Some pushed to the point of relying on bitter wild berries for survival, not for nutritional reasons, but because it is the only thing that is available.

Though elections have recently been held the drought was not a major talking point for the main candidates. The main issue highlighted, especially by those living in urban areas was the high cost of living.

Aspirants and the president-elect all vowed to ease the issues of inflated cost of living. But unless we deal with the issue of the ongoing drought we will only be treating a symptom and not the real problem.

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The construction industry needs to go green.

What is a green building?

A green building is a building which is energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible – it incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate its negative impact on the environment and its occupants.

The construction industry and climate change.

Buildings are one of the main contributors to climate change. International reports state that buildings represent the single largest opportunity for greenhouse gas abatement, outstripping the energy, transport and industry sectors combined.

The UNEP reports that globally, the built environment is responsible for:

  • 12% fresh water consumption.
  • 40% end-use energy consumption
  • 40 % solid waste generation
UNEP HQ Nairobi

What do we need to change?

The overall concept of green buildings is a response to the environmental impact of the construction industry and buildings in general.

Buildings consume the most energy during occupancy, in form of heating and air conditioning, electricity and water consumption.

Green buildings include strategies for addressing:

  • Water conservation
  • Waste avoidance, re-use and recycling
  • Pollution prevention – noise, water, air, soil and light
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Greenhouse gas emission abatement
  • Enhanced biodiversity
  • Reduced natural resource consumption
  • Productive and healthier environments.

A new way to think of water

With the effects of climate change becoming ever more evident, water is becoming an even more valuable resource. To keep up with targets on carbon emissions and environmental conservation the construction industry will have to change the way they think of water.

Water is not a limitless resource. The world’s surface might be covered by over 70% water but only 2% of that is fresh potable water. And even worse is that of that 2%, 1.6% is frozen in glaciers and icecaps.

Major changes have been made to existing infrastructure to make them more water and energy efficient, as well as introducing new technologies to achieve the same. But a lot more needs to be done to meet the growing demand for fresh water.

We will be going through actionable ways to get your building green and save on your water usage.

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