Kenya is a water scarce country. Surface waters cover only 2 per cent of the total surface area. The climate varies from tropical along the coast of the Indian ocean to arid in the interior and two thirds of the country is covered by semi-desert or desert land.
Per capita available water is about 650 m3/year. Future projections show that by 2025, per capita water availability will drop to 235m3 as a result of population growth.
The level of water scarcity in some regions is a serious limiting factor for development activities. Consequently, the need to change the scattered structure and functioning of the water management system has arisen.
In 2002, major reforms were initiated with the revision of the Water Act, which defines clear roles for the different actors involved in the decentralised institutional framework that separates policy formulation from
regulation and services provision. Where possible, the participation of stakeholders in the decision making processes was promoted by involving communities and other actors such as NGOs, community organisations and the private sector.
In 2009, water services boards undertook to develop urban water supplies infrastructure, while the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation provided water schemes in rural areas. The major works were on expansion and upgrading of the water supply systems. To provide clean water to households, the Kenya Government continued to maintain water purification points across the country.
To improve availability of water to more Kenyans in rural areas, the Government of Kenya has constructed major dams such as Chemususu, Badasa, Kiserian and others in Koibatek, Marsabit, Kajiado and Kitui districts.