, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – The Athi Water Services Board has unveiled a Sh50 billion programme that aims to provide efficient water services to the larger Nairobi metropolis.
Chief Manager John Muiruri said the four-year programme that will also deal with sewerage coverage will be undertaken in three phases and targets to increase water supply and reduce health risks.
“Our intention is to provide within the next three to four years, water seven days a week, 24 hours daily and also ensure that sewers are built on all the boundaries of Nairobi,” he said.
“We also have target towns where we will construct sewers within the same period. One of these towns is Ruiru because it is going to benefit from the upgrading of the Nairobi – Thika highway,” he pointed out.
Mr Muiruri added that the first phase of the programme was to ensure that the capacity of the existing system was re-installed and that the issue of waste water was dealt with.
The second phase, he said, will deal with sewer coverage to ensure that all pipes are sealed to avoid any disease outbreak. The third phase will see the water service provider put in place mechanisms for bulk water supply within Nairobi and its environs.
Mr Muiruri explained to Capital News that the water Board was also in the process of sinking more boreholes within Nairobi.
“One of the initiatives we are involved in is to develop boreholes in most parts of the city,” he said. “The other area is to encourage rainwater harvesting. We have distributed quite a number of tanks in the churches, schools and other public places to demonstrate that you can gather water from rain.”
Mr Muiruri said that misuse of water and its facilities was partly to blame for the current water shortage within the larger Nairobi area.
“We do harm when we use water irresponsibly. There are simple things that you can do to conserve water. For example using buckets in washing instead of bath tubs, showering instead of using bath tubs and avoiding the use of many toilets,” he advised.
The Athi Water Board boss also re-assured that the water supplied to Nairobi was safe for consumption.
“The water that we produce in our treatment plants is wholesome. It is of good quality and is in accordance to the standards issued by the World Health Organisation on portable water,” he affirmed.
“We also have what is called residual chlorine, a chemical that is left in the water to assist in the killing of the germs during transportation through the pipes.”