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Nairobi residents grappling with acute water shortage

A section of Nairobi County residents have been hit by an acute water shortage that has left them without the precious commodity for almost a week now.

Residents of Kamiti area, which covers estates along Thika Road such as Roysambu, Mirema, Zimmermann, Githurai 44, Maziwa and Kahawa West have had no supply of water for about one week despite their constant calls to the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) for intervention.

Teresia Wairimu, a resident of Githurai 44, while speaking to the Nation on Monday, lamented how for more than a week she has been unable to have water in her house despite calls to NCWSC.

She said that she has been forced to recycle her dirty clothes and sometimes resort to going to her relative, who lives in Ruaraka, to bath and wash her clothes as she had depleted all the water stored in the house.

“I have not had water from last week Tuesday and we are suffering as we were at least used to getting water for three days when they were doing the rationing,” said Ms Wairimu.

WATER VENDORS

She added that they have now been forced to get water from private boreholes and water vendors who charge between Sh20 and Sh50.

“We are buying a jerrican of water at Sh20 and that is when you go for it yourself; when it is brought by the handcart vendors to your doorstep then it is sold at Sh50,” she said.

Another affected resident, Patrick Ngari who lives in Maziwa estate, said that he had also not had water from Monday last week and has been forced to seek for alternatives of washing his clothes and bathing.

“We have not received water from last week even though we used to get water for three days in a week, that is, on Sunday through to Tuesday,” said Mr Ngari.

However, speaking to Nairobi News on phone on Monday, NCWSC Managing Director Engineer Philip Gichuki allayed fears that the situation was as dire as the residents were putting it.

He said some areas might have been affected by the revised water rationing programme published by the company last Thursday.

AFFECTED AREAS

“There is no problem. The rationing is what is being applied and maybe it is the change of the programme that has affected some areas. I doubt that the situation is that extreme,” said Eng Gichuki.

He however acknowledged that some of the affected areas are estates before Githurai 45, where the company was removing illegal water connections, estates in Eastlands towards the tail end of their water supply line and parts of Karen.

“In any case the first people who would have complained would be Kenyatta University students, residents from Eastlands and some parts of Western Nairobi but not estates along Thika Road,” he said.

Eng Gichuki gave assurance that from Tuesday normalcy will be retained but urged the residents to bear in mind that the levels of water at Ndakaini Dam, the main supplier of water to Nairobi, has not improved and water rationing will continue until at least the November rainy season.

“The water at Ndakaini Dam is still very low and so we have to ration water in the dam so that it takes us to the next rainy season in November. Nevertheless, water is supposed to be flowing from Tuesday as we had advertised,” he said.