Illegal taps draining Nairobi water

July 3, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – Illegal water connections are to blame for the frequent water rationing in the city, Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa has said.

This came a week after the government admitted that the country’s water sector was riddled with corruption and inefficiency as revealed by Transparency International (TI) report.

Mr Majiwa said that there were more than 89 illegal water connections at the Ndakaini Dam reducing inflow to the city.

After receiving the TI report last month Water Permanent Secretary David Stower said his ministry had since asked the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company to work with law enforcement agencies to disconnect all illegal connections.

The report revealed that 46.8 percent of domestic water users in the surveyed areas have access to piped water compared to the 53.2 percent who have access to unpiped water.

It also said that 17.6 percent of polled domestic water users said they were never issued with official receipts upon payment.

Mr Stower welcomed the report saying that it would help the ministry in the ongoing reforms in the water sector.

“This is a very good working document that we have now received and will help us improve services to the people. There is a lot of water that is unaccounted for. We have to enforce the law so that those involved in illegal connections are brought to book,” said Mr Stower.

The study examined provision of water services, malpractices in water institutions, water resource management and the best practices for promoting transparency and accountability in the key sector.

Speaking in Ndakaini Dam on Thursday during a tour of the facility that was built with European Union funds in the early 1990s, Mr Majiwa said that the council will partner with the Nairobi Water Company to disconnect all those illegal links.

“Nairobi residents are currently buying water from vendors which is unacceptable because of a few errant water suppliers,” he said adding that if the suppliers want to sell water, they should get a meter from Nairobi Water Company and start paying bills.

Mr Majiwa was accompanied by engineers from the water company.

Meanwhile, as the city’s water supply diminishes, demand extends far beyond Nairobi . The Athi River Export Processing Zone and nearby flower farms are all getting water from Ndakaini.

The growing town of Mlolongo and the surrounding residences on Mombasa Road and Syokimau are adding to pressure on Nairobi ’s water.

Further to the east, construction in Ruai and Kamulu means that very soon, there won’t be enough water for anybody in Nairobi .


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