The South African Engineer Corp's water supply operations in Kenya during the Second World War: its wartime impact and postwar legacy
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War is often conducted in areas where water is not readily available, which forces militaries to create sufficient water sources in the theatre of war. During a war military activities often place much pressure on civil society’s access to their traditional water sources. After a war the increased water supply created by the military may be exploited for the benefit of civil society. The Second World War propelled the belligerent forces into some areas where fresh water was in short supply, including East and North Africa. This article, firstly, explores the efforts of the South African Engineer Corps (SAEC) to exploit existing water sources in Kenya and to create new ones to meet the needs of the Allied forces during their campaign against the Italians. Secondly it tries to establish how the activities of the SAEC affected the lives of the local population during the war. Lastly, it attempts to determine the postwar legacy of the SAEC’s water supply activities in Kenya.