Mombasa water shortage to persist - county executive

Thursday September 29 2016

A water vendor in  Mombasa cashes in on a shortage of the commodity.  The Water and  Irrigation ministry has only drawn Sh4.6 billion out of a total allocation of Sh13.7 billion. Gideon  Maundu

A water vendor in Mombasa cashes in on a shortage of the commodity. The Water and Irrigation ministry has only drawn Sh4.6 billion out of a total allocation of Sh13.7 billion. Gideon Maundu 

By WINNIE ATIENO [email protected]

Biting water shortage in Mombasa County is expected to persist up to 2019/2020 after completion of the construction of Mwache Dam, a multi-purpose project in Kwale.

Mombasa County Executive in Charge of Water and Natural ResourcesFatma Awalesaid although Mombasa residents require 186,000 cubic metres supply of water a day to address the shortage it currently gets 46,000 cubic metres of water a day from Baricho Dam, Mzima and Marere springs.

“We purchase water from Coast Water, Baricho Dam and Mzima springs. There is a very big gap in terms of demand and supply. The water we get is very little,” she said.

Ms Awale was answering questions from concerned residents about water shortage in Likoni during the ongoing town hall meetings.

“Water is a necessity but we lack the precious commodity in this county. We need water,” pleaded Ms Elina Juma. Ms Awale urged the residents to be patient, adding that there is water rationing.

“Likoni gets 2000 cubic metres a day but the demand is 6000 cubic metres a day for those who are connected to the mains. The county government will dig more boreholes to address the shortage,” she said.

Water purchase agreement

“Last year November, Governor Hassan Joho went to France and signed the water purchase agreement for Mwache Dam. Mombasa is supposed to get sufficient water supply after completion of the project,” she said.

Kenya secured a Sh20 billion loan from the World Bank to finance construction of the dam to stabilise water supply in the coast region.

In December 2015 during the signing of the agreement on behalf of government in Paris Water cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa said Mwache dam will significantly ease the water deficiency the second city currently faces.

Ms Awale however said the county government is finding other mechanisms to address the biting water shortage including desalination of water from the Indian Ocean.

Although desalination is expensive, Ms Awale said, it is a long term project to ensure sufficient supply of water.

“We will make use of our natural water to ensure every household has quality water. In two weeks’ time advertisements of desalination project will be published,” she said.

She said desalination project will be divided into North Mainland, Likoni area and West Mainland areas.