Declining dam levels hurt water rationing in Nairobi
For the last three months, residents of Nairobi have been digging deeper into their pockets to buy water as the drought persists.
The dry-spell has lead to an acute water shortage leaving thousands at the mercy of vendors.
Due to the drought, Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company could not consistently follow the rationing schedule as the Ndakaini Dam levels dipped to a low of 30 per cent and Sasumua Dam 57.7 per cent.
Some city dwellers are having to go without the precious commodity for more than a week despite the schedule.
And even when the firm pumps water, the supply is cut after a few hours.
A 20 litre jerrycan is going for Sh30 to Sh80 depending on the estate.
Nairobi water managing director Philip Gichuki, speaking at the company’s headquarters in Industrial Area, said they were trying to ensure that each Nairobian gets some water despite the challenges.
He said that the company has old pipes and sometimes burst once the water is pumped forcing them to close the main water point causing shortages.
The MD said that the water levels in Ndakaini were at 30 per cent forcing them to reduce supply by 20 per cent.
Mr Gichuki said the company had put in place stringent measures against big water users to help with conservation. The firm has so far arrested more than 20 people since they banned car wash businesses.
However speaking during the flagging off of five excavators meant to dig drainage systems, the firm’s board chairman , Mr Raphael Nzomo, said that there is a ray of hope as rains have begun in the Arberdare region.
He said that the schedule by the company to end rationing in April is on course as the rains will increase the flow of water in River Chania which drains in Ndakaini.
Mr Nzomo added that the water shortage had been caused by the drought in the Aberdares, Kikuyu and Mt Kenya, the main water catchment areas for rivers feeding the dam.