Alarm over water supply to Kenyan capital

July 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – City Hall has now directed the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) to ensure there is efficient supply of water to city residents.

Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa stated that mismanagement by the water company was largely to blame for the current water shortage in the Kenyan capital.

He said that illegal connections had been allowed to flourish disrupting the main water flow.

"What have they been doing even with these connections we are talking about? They know that these things existed.  They know and yet they have not done anything about them," Mr Majiwa said.

"They only started installing metres last year in September. What have they been doing all these time?" he posed.

"The Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company managing director had said that they are rationing water all round yet some of those connections do not even have metres. How do you ration such connections?"

NCWSC MD Francis Mugo however refuted the claims saying that the company was carrying out its duties effectively.

"It was agreed in 1994, not today by the World Bank, which was financing the project and the relevant ministries that the people two and a half kilometres on both sides of the pipes were to get water from us," he explained.

"This is because probably their next source of water is two kilometres away and they cannot continue fetching water along the pipeline. They were given water and metered, they pay for the water and we ration tem when we ration the city," he added.

He urged Nairobi residents to use water sparingly in the face of the current water shortage being experienced in the city.
Mr Mugo said that this would ensure that everyone’s needs were catered for.

His sentiments come following revelations that the capacity of Ndakaini dam, the main Nairobi water source was below normal.
"The water that we can manufacture at maximum capacity is 480,000m³ per day and the demand for the whole of Nairobi is 650,000m³ per day so even if this dam is full, there is going to be a rationing although it will not be as severe as the one currently underway," he stated.

Mr Mugo further outlined plans by the water company to join hands with the government to build boreholes to supplement water supply to the city.

"Boreholes are a temporary measure. The Athi water services board, the government and ourselves are doing fifty boreholes in the city which will add about 10,000m³ per day," he said. 

He stated that the boreholes will supplement the water supplied by the main dams
Mr Mugo however emphasised the need to look for a long term solution to solve the water problem.

"Boreholes are not a long-term solution, because we had boreholes in Karen sunk for about 180-200 meters. Today as we speak they are dry because the water tables are going down," he said.

"The long-term measure is to build dams along the Ruiru River."


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