To many who know the topography of Nakuru County, the mention of Kiamunyi conjures up the image of a lush green suburb that is a preferred investment destination to the middle and high class residents.
Kiamunyi is probably one of the most sought after residential areas by property investors in the cosmopolitan county and is home to the who is who in the county.
However, Kiamunyi is fast losing its shine as it no longer woos investors who are now casting their nets outside the Rift Valley headquarters, thanks to a permanent water shortage.
“I bought an eighth of an acre at Kiamunyi at Sh2 million two years ago and put up various classic design units at a cost of Sh60 million but I am yet to start recouping my huge investment as tenants are shunning my units due to lack of piped water,” said property owner Galileo Olweny.
Despite having the alluring view of the Menengai Crater, potential homeowners are avoiding Kaimunyi with the land prices remaining stagnant at between Sh1.5 million and Sh2 million for an eighth of an acre.
Interestingly, the area which is sandwiched between former President Daniel arap Moi’s Kabarak home and Nakuru Town, which enjoys round the clock piped water, has continued to endure dry taps despite being only a kilometre away from the town.
The suburb survives on untreated borehole water or occasionally rain water.
Water bowser owners are enjoying roaring business and have set up a base at the busy Olive Inn trading centre where they sell water from unknown sources to desperate consumers.
Kiamunyi was meant to give Nakuru a new leafy suburb after Milimani Estate started turning into a noisy estate.
“We have many town houses and apartments but getting tenants or buyers is proving to be an uphill task as the first thing the tenants or buyers check is whether the taps have running water,” said Mr Joseph Mwaka, a property agent in Nakuru town.
The owner of Nakuru College of Health Sciences, Ms Susan Akinyi Nyamai, said she spend about Sh30,000 per month to buy water.
“It’s very frustrating when you have an investment worth millions of shillings and you don’t have a steady water supply,” said Ms Nyamai.
Nakuru Deputy Governor Eric Korir while launching the Nakuru Rural Water and Sanitation Company (Naruwasco) five-year strategic plan for 2018-2022 said it was unacceptable for Kiamunyi residents to continue suffering due to lack of water.
“I can’t understand how Kiamunyi is just a kilometre away from Nakuru Town and has no piped water. This must change and I hope it is captured in the strategic plan,” said Dr Korir.
Naruwasco managing director Reuben Korir confirmed that the firm is not serving residents of Kiamunyi and other areas under their jurisdiction.
However, Mr Korir said the permanent water shortage in Kiamunyi will “soon” become a thing of the past as the company will drill a Sh10 million borehole in the current financial year to alleviate the shortage in the area.
Mr Korir announced that a geologist is already on the ground finalising on the survey before the drilling starts.
“The borehole that will serve Kiamunyi will be drilled at Kerma along the Njoro — Nakuru Road and is earmarked to produce 10,000 cubic meters per hour and this will ultimately end the water shortage in the area,” said Mr Korir.
Besides Kiamuniyi, the company will also restore other dry lines in Njoro and Gilgil among other areas with plans to also address vandalism.
“Naruwasco has a mandate to deliver service to consumers and before the end of the five year strategic plan half of the water losses problems in our area of coverage will be tackled,” said Mr Korir.
He said the firm produces 23,000 cubic meters of water daily but was losing half of it due to old infrastructure, vandalism and flat rate billing as the company does not have enough water meters.
“By end of 2022 we shall reduce the loss of water by 20 per cent and improve our service delivery,” said Mr Korir.