Thursday, October 22, 2009

Water rationing to go on despite rains

A woman resident of Kibera slum in Nairobi on a mission to fetch water. Photo/FILE

A woman resident of Kibera slum in Nairobi on a mission to fetch water. 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. Photo/FILE 

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.

However, Nairobi Water Company was on Thursday assuring the residents that if the rains continue to pound heavily, residents will only be required to wait for a few weeks to have more than enough water in their taps.

“We are closely monitoring the progress of the rains but the question is when the levels of water in the dams will be raised so that we can be able to start distributing the water to our consumers normally,” Mr Kibiru told Daily Nation by telephone.

Since the beginning of the year water has remained a scarce commodity in Nairobi and several other towns in the country.

But the situation became worse in June after the long rains failed to raise levels of water in Ndaka-ini Dam.

The dam is the main supplier of water in Nairobi and its environs.

The second biggest water supply is Sasumua Dam, which has been under rehabilitation.

It is expected to be complete by the end of this month as Water PS, Mr David Stower had promised.

Without enough supply in the two major dams, residents have been relying on water from boreholes.

Nairobi Water company also had to introduce a water rationing programme in June to cope with the scarcity.

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

The bowsers get the water from boreholes.

Hawkers have also been selling water in containers using pushcarts.

On Thursday, Mr Kibiru said the programme will continue but expressed hope that water levels in the dam will raise since the on-going rains especially in the Aberdare region where rivers that feed the two dams originate from has been adequate.

Weather experts have given an assurance that the on-going rains will be enhanced since they are associated with the El Nino phenomenon.

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