Abstract

Water scarcity and inadequate infrastructure for sanitation are two challenges that are emblematic to Kenya and other developing nations in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under such circumstances, water reuse has the potential to address these challenges but only under a favourable policy environment. In this paper, policy documents were considered as the ethnographic object to understand how people talk about water reuse in Kenya through policies, plans, regulations and guidelines. Using a general inductive approach to content analysis, the findings suggest that Kenya's policy on water reuse has progressed, especially in the recognition of the potential of reused water for addressing water scarcity, pollution, cleaner industrial production, food production, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. While many of the water reuse issues have been discussed under water and irrigation, environment and industrialization, other key sectors such as food and agriculture, housing, urban development and health remain silent on water reuse. Therefore, there is a need to take water reuse conversations beyond the water, environment, and industrialisation sectors if we are to address the water supply and wastewater management issues. Likewise, the study reminds us of the importance of foregrounding public perception and harmonized institutional arrangements in the success of water reuse in the country.

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