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Sewerage firm rolls up its sleeves

NAIROBI, November 20 – The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) has embarked on an operational strategy aimed at enhancing the performance of the sewerage and water network.

Administrative Services Director Sellestine Kiuluku said on Thursday that the strategy will reduce the time of response to sewer blockages and overflows to two from the previous 14 days.

“Some of these challenges involve intentional blockage of the sewer by (dumping) garbage or oil into the system,” Mrs Kiuluku said.

She revealed that immediate measures will include routine sewer maintenance activities, mainly focusing on old estates.

She stressed the need for a sensitisation program to inform the public about the dangers of misusing and abusing sewers, adding that the company’s biggest challenge at present was the encroachment of sewers  and the construction of structures on sewer lines. She also added that theft and vandalism of manhole covers and steel pipes have also affected service delivery.

The company’s Technical Director Joseph Kimani stressed the need for city residents to seek expert opinion before building underground tanks.

Sanitation in Nairobi remains a major challenge as nearly 40 percent of the households do not have access to safe sanitation. The sewer network coverage in the city is approximately 30 percent and is about 1,550 Km in length.

Mr Kimani said that the network inventory included sewers that were constructed in the 1920’s but continue to serve the same areas that have undergone significant changes.

He added that the planned renewal and extension programmes of the network will address some of the deficiencies.

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