Water too scarce for Nairobi taps

November 23, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – Nairobi residents will continue to experience scarcity of water as water levels in the dams are still low, even with the onset of the short rains.

Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company Corporate Affairs Manager Mbaruku Vyakweli said rationing in Nairobi will be unavoidable until the capacity of the infrastructure is adequately addressed to match the fast growing demand in the city.

“Currently, the water situation has improved significantly and the Nairobi Water Company is progressively increasing the number of hours of supply as the rationing programme remains in place,” he said in a monthly brief released on Monday.

Mr Vyakweli said that they are currently supply 525,600 cubic metres every day, against a demand of 650,000 cubic metres.

He expressed hope that water levels in the dam would rise since on-going rains, especially in the Aberdares region where rivers that feed the two dams originate from, has been adequate.

Mr Vyakweli said given the current inflow into Thika Dam, which provides 80 percent of the city water supply, it would require 47 more days to fill up to the top.

“Dam levels have gone up by 7.43 metres in the last 34 days since the rains started, which translates to an average rise of 218mm/day.”

“The Dam now is 10.2 meters away from its highest ebb implying that at current inflow into the dam, it would require 47 more days to fill up to the top,” he said.

Nairobi residents get their water supply from Ndaka-ini dam, which accounts for between 80 and 85 per cent, while Sasumua provides an estimated 10 percent of daily water consumption.

“The first phase of repairs on Sasumua dam is complete. The second phase is expected to be ready by December next year.”

The Company was forced to introduce a water rationing programme in June to cope with the scarcity and achieve equitable distribution of the inadequate resource.

In the programme, some estates have only been getting water once a week. They are, therefore, forced to buy the scarce commodity from traders.

Rewww.capitalfm.co.keir storages in Sasumua, Ruiru and Kikuyu Springs respectively have also continued to increase as a result of the El Nino rains. Storage levels have been rising gradually since the rains started in mid-October.

The company said inadequate funding, unpredictable rainfall patterns and Nairobi\’s unplanned expansion, are considered to be responsible for the frequent water rationing programmes and dry taps in most city estates.

“The water demand in the city has risen dramatically over the years that even with production at maximum; the water demand outstrips the current installed capacity.”

“For rationing to be phased out completely, there is need for a major capital investment to increase the water production, transmission and distribution capacity,” he said.


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