Kenya's urban centres face acute water shortage
Posted Sunday, July 12 2009 at 22:44
Taps in nearly all urban centres across the country have run dry, leaving residents dejected, miserable and thirsty.
Water reservoirs are now very low and the situation is bound to get worse if it does not rain soon.
The Nairobi’s main water reservoirs at Ndakaini and Sasumua are at alarmingly low levels.
Despite this, the residents remain hopeful as they wait for divine intervention.
In the meantime, they want the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company to be fair in its water rationing.
The unfair water rationing programme, they say, had worsened the crisis with many households not getting water even for up to four months.
The situation is the same in Mombasa where many residents go for as long as one month without water.
“Despite paying monthly bills to the Mombasa Water and Sewerage Company, we have to rely on water from vendors,” says Michael Embasa, a newspaper vendor living in Likoni.
Ms Christine Mjomba from Mshomoroni in Mombasa also says they depend on vendors who sell water from an unknown source.
In Nairobi, the Nation toured a number of city estates, especially in the Eastlands area, where the situation is becoming desperate.
At Pipeline Estate in the Embakasi area, there has been an increase in the number of water vendors who are cashing in on the crisis. A 20-litre jerrican was going for between Sh25 and Sh50. Some families were spending up to Sh250 daily on buying water.
At Tassia Estate in the Embakasi area, a water vendor, Mr Fabulous Ng’ang’a, popularly known ‘Ngash’, said that since the rationing programme started, his business has been good.
The water merchant tactfully evades the question of where they get their water in the face of the persistent shortages, only saying that “we get them from those who have it.”
The water shortage problem has also been witnessed in parts of Donholm, Greenfields, Savannah and especially Kayole where the price of a 20-litre jerrican could go as high as Sh80.
In South B Estate, Mr Nicholas Mbevi also complains that the water supply to the estate has been erratic.
Along Thika road, residents of Githurai Kimbo, Kahawa West, Zimmerman and the environs have also complained of not having enough water.
The same also applies to the Ngara area, where one resident admitted to have gone without a bath for days.
The government has already put in place contingency measures to alleviate the crisis, including drilling of 50 bore holes.