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Rainy blessings for City dwellers

NAIROBI, November 13 – The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) is reworking the water rationing timetable for Nairobi, to reflect increasing water levels at its main

Managing Director Francis Mugo pointed out that the increased water supply is expected to last up to the first quarter of next year.

“Now that it is raining, we intend to relax the rationing programme so that we give a little bit more water to all the areas,” Mr Mugo said.

Most residential areas of Nairobi are currently receiving water twice weekly, in what the NWSC said were measures to avert a complete shortage following decreased levels in the main water catchment dams.

The company’s Corporate Affairs Manager Mbaruku Vyakweli told Capital News on Thursday that engineers were reviewing the rationing plan, just a day after senior officials accompanied Water Minister Charity Ngilu for the launch of rehabilitation works at the Sasumua Dam.

“On completion of the rehabilitation works, 65 million litres of water be supplied to Nairobi city per day to help meet the increasing demand,” Mrs Ngilu explained.

Nairobi depends on water from four main sources, Ndakaini, Sasumua and Ruiru dams as well as the Kikuyu springs.

The collapse of the Sasumua dam in 2003 gravely affected water supply to the City. It had an initial storage capacity of 16 million cubic metres which has currently reduced to 5 million cubic metres.

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The Minister observed that despite the increasing population in the city, there has been no significant investment in water infrastructure over the past 20 years and outlined government plans to rehabilitate and expand dormant water supply and sewerage infrastructure.

These include restoration of old transmission pipelines and distribution networks, rehabilitation of water treatment plants, pump stations high level water storage facilities and boreholes.

In the meantime, Mrs Ngilu ordered the NWSC and the City Council to meet next week and resolve the issue of an outstanding Sh9.5 billion debt.

“Water and sewerage services for Nairobi create a major concern for all of us,” she said adding: “What we are lacking is proper harmonisation and coordination of Nairobi Water Company and the Nairobi City council.”  

 “There is some blame somewhere but no one is taking responsibility,” said Nairobi Mayor Godfrey Majiwa. “We are therefore calling on Nairobi residents to forgive us for the long time we are taking to improve in this regard.”

A meeting by councilors to try to resolve how to settle the debt had ended prematurely last week.

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