by Maximilla Wafula
The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation . Hon. Alice Wahome today during the media launch for the 29th IEK annual convention
Which will take place at Diani Beach between 21st to 25th November 2022 held on 14th November 2022 at Serena Hotel . The Cs acknowledge the launch of the Convention that will bring several voices together to chart a way forward on sustainable engineering.
Indeed, at no point can we delink engineering from environmental sustainability. It is important to acknowledge that engineering involves the art of harnessing the resources of nature for the benefit of society. For example, the engineer is trained to develop infrastructure and make it possible for people to enjoy wholesome water and hydropower; again the engineer is capable
of converting sunlight into solar energy for use by society; and the engineer can also use rocks, sands and soils to build houses, roads, airports etc for use by the society.
Climate change remains a global risk to future generations. Some of the catastrophic consequences of climate change include global warming, air pollution, floods and storms,
heatwaves, droughts and a rise in sea level which can cause destructive erosion and wetland
flooding. This then causes further health issues, water resources management issues and a high demand for water and energy.
The theme of this year’s Convention ‘Sustainable Engineering in the era of Climate Change,’ is timely and comes just at the time that the world has converged in Sharma El Sheikh, Egypt for Africa COP27 United Nations Climate change Summit where countries come together to take action towards achieving the world’s collective climate goals as agreed under the Paris Agreement and Convention.
Just a year ago on the 30th of October 2021 at Glasgow, Scotland, Kenya advocated for the full and timely implementation of the Paris Agreement during that year United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop26).We can all see the devastation of floods when
it rains and drought when it doesn’t rain. We are always in a state of emergency. Kenya is one
of the most vulnerable countries and the least emitters of carbon. To all of us, it is about
adaptation and ensuring our people, communities and economy have the necessary resilience
to recover when this happens.
Engineers play an integral role in shaping our interaction with the world. The decisions we
make on a day-to-day basis through our work can have a range of environmental, social and
The construction of buildings, for example, consumes natural resources
outside of the boundaries of what happens on-site, including the energy, water and raw
materials that go into the manufacturing of construction materials.
Kenya is currently facing adverse drought situation where 20 out of 23 Arid and Semi Arid
Counties are affected that has left about 4.5 million people food insecure. We have put in place
short term measures to ensure that available water sources in drought-hit counties like
boreholes operate normally. We have also identified hotspots in 23 counties in many areas like
Marsabit, Isiolo and Mandera among others and distributed over 100 water bowsers.
My Ministry will continue work together with key sector players to ensure that we collectively
put in place measures that will help mitigate this issue of sustainability in the long term.
I thank the IEK President, Council Members and all stakeholders for bringing together several
voices locally and internationally to discuss and bring tangible solutions through sustainable
engineering concepts to mitigate and combat the effects of climate change.
I urge all sector players to support and attend the 29th IEK Convention, follow through the
discussions and be part of the change that we want to see in Kenya.
Thank you and May God Bless us all.