Pipe dream for Nairobi water supply

July 15, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15 – The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has assured Nairobi residents of increased water supply despite the shortages being experienced in the major water sources.

Water Services Director Lawrence Simitu told Capital News that Nairobi has reliable underground water reserves which the Ministry has been exploring to arrest the crisis in the city and its outskirts.

“The boreholes will supply us up to the rainy season in October because we have a lot of ground water in Nairobi and we are actually hitting aquifers that are reliable that can serve us even up to 50 years,” he said.

He said already 22 boreholes had been dug in Uthiru, Kangemi, Dagoretti, Kayole and Kariobangi among other areas with three of them already in operation.

Mr Simitu noted that boreholes were being dug in most densely populated areas but will be rolled out to other areas.

He said by next month Nairobi alone will have 50 boreholes which he hoped would ensure constant supply of water throughout the dry season.

He further held that the borehole water which is currently selling at Sh2 per 20 litres will also be piped into homes.

However, despite the promises several areas including hospitals and the city mortuary will miss out on the essential commodity on particular days according to a new rationing programme released on Tuesday.

But Mr Simitu said the programme ensures an equitable supply that will not leave out any area without water for a long time.

He urged hospitals to invest more on large storage water facilities due to the prevailing shortage in the major dams and destruction of the water catchment areas.

He also appealed to Nairobi residents to do likewise so that they can have water during the rationing days.

Due to the crisis, Mr Simitu said, illegal water suppliers had taken advantage and were selling unsafe water to desperate users.

“Before you get water from the truck first demand for a license from the Water Nairobi Company, and the truck should be marked on the side, unless you see that, don’t buy the water,” he said.

Since the water shortage began last month, different trucks and suppliers whose water sources remain questionable have flocked the estates selling the commodity at uncontrolled prices.

Some of them have been found fetching water from other unsafe places.

Mr Simitu said the Nairobi Water Company was working closely with the law enforcers to arrest all illegal water suppliers.


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