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A Report on the Use of Desalination and Sand Storage Dams to Provide Water to Kenya and Recommendation Based on the Findings.

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1. Introduction

Water shortage is a common phenomenon in the developing world. This is due to the increase in the population and farming methods (BBC. 2006). As the population increases the demand and use of water increases and more water is needed to farm more food to feed the growing population. Water scarcity to the rising population brings about water diseases, such as typhoid or various worm infections; opportunity-costs of time spent collecting water and time lost from economic activities (Starnley, 2010). The population has to go long distances to fetch water for use, these results in losing time and not being able to carry on economic activities and further more the water is contaminated causing people to fall ill.

There are types of water projects such as dams, ground water, wells, sand dams and desalination (Wright, 2009). This report will look at the use of sand dams and desalination to provide water to Kenya and finally give a recommendation according to the comparison of location, cost, environmental impact and pathogens in the water. The report will first look at sand dams, followed by desalination, and finally provide a conclusion and recommendation based on the findings.

2. Background

Kenya in the last few years has been faced with a series of drought which has affected the people severely. According to BBC News (2009) most of the crop that were planted had not survived the harsh sun. In addition to this, BBC News (2009) said that animals died in large numbers due to lack of food and fresh water. Rain has become a scarce element and it is vital for the growth of crops and provides water for drinking for both animals and plants. To provide water for household and animals, women and children are forced to walk more than 15 miles (Beaumont, 2009). Children are missing out on important activities such as going to school and learning.

They have to either stay at home and look after their younger siblings while their mothers go out and fetch water or go and fetch water themselves. The Kenyan government in the past spent 140 million dollars on relief aid to the affected people rather than finding a solution to the problem of drought (News Point. 2009). Solutions such as digging boreholes/wells and rain water harvesting. The following are methods of providing water to arid regions that the government of Kenya can help the people to set up or set up for them.

3. Presentation of options

3.1) Desalination

Desalination is the process of removing salt and other impurities from seawater, brackish ground water or wastewater treatment (Wright, 2009). The water is forced through a series of permeable membranes or chemicals are used in treating the water. This method can be used in arid regions.

3.2)Sand storage dams

Sand storage dams are features that are constructed on the rivers. This is done by putting up a wall of stone and concrete across the river and leaving a small pathway in the middle for over flowed water to go throw (Environmental editor. 2009). Sand gathers behind the wall after several rainy seasons and water is stored in between the sand.

4) Presentation of requirements

4.1) Location

The physical place where desalination plants and sand dams can be erected is the location. Location is necessary because desalination and sand storage dams are put up in specific areas. Desalination plants are found near the sea (Sydney coastal councils groups inc. 2005) while sand dams are located on the river (Environment editor. 2009). Therefore location is an important requirement to consider in the building of desalination and sand storage dams.

4.2) Cost

Cost is a vital requirement in the consideration for the construction of desalination plants and sand storage dams. According to Wright (2009) cost is a vital consideration as it determines whether desalination or sand storage dams can be constructed. The money available can either limit or enable desalination or sand storage dams from being put up.

4.3) Environmental impact

The environmental impact of a water project is essential in considering the use of desalination and sand storage dams in providing water to the environment. The degree to which the water project affects the environment is important to consider, whether it can benefit the environment or destroy it further (Prinz and Singh, unknown). The aim is to use a water project that has positive impact.

4.4) Pathogens or diseases

If the sand storage dams and desalination plants have pathogens, then this means that the water they carry would be contaminated. Contaminated water when fed to humans and livestock could be fatal due to diseases such as cholera and typhoid (Starnley, 2010). Humans and animals tend to fall ill after using the water.

5) Comparison of options

5.1) desalination

5.1.1) The location of desalination plants

Desalination plants are located near a large source of water that has salt or impurities. Due to abundant sea water the coastal regions are considered first when putting up desalination plants (BBC News, 2007). The saline water can be accessed easily and directly from the source. This can help to reduce the cost of desalination.

5.1.2) The cost of desalination plants

Desalination is considered to be an expensive process. In setting up desalination plants a lot of capital is needed for the equipment as well as the maintenance of the plant (Wright, 2009). In the maintenance of the plant, the workers need to be trained on how to handle the equipments and also chemicals need to be bought for the process, as a result the cost goes up.

5.1.3) The environmental impact of desalination process

Desalination provides water

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