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Dwindling water supplies leave city residents with dry taps


Millions of Nairobi residents are currently grappling with strained water supply, amid rationing in the capital city.

The rationing has been occasioned by the drop in water levels at the Ndakaini Dam, which supplies 80 per cent of domestic water in the city. The water levels have dropped to an all-time low of 41.4 per cent.

Residents now get water either four or three times a week, with a demand of 700 million litres of water every day exceeding the available supply of only 400 million litres.

This is set to continue until April when the long rains are expected.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Water scarcity the world over has been blamed on climate change. It now threatens lives of billions of people across the globe, prompting the United Nations to respond.

This was revealed at a UN conference on ‘Water, Food and Energy nexus’ in New York last Friday by Mr Pasquale Steduto, the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)’s regional strategic programme coordinator for the Near East and North Africa.

The official emphasised the need to augment availability of water — such as through employing large-scale water harvesting methods, including for agricultural purposes, as well as the use of non-conventional water, such as treated waste water and that which has been desalinated.

WATER CHALLENGE

Mr Steduto cited prudence on the demand side, through enhanced efficiency and productivity, strengthening governance, employing water saving and optimisation technologies, as among important and practical ways of addressing the complex water challenge.

“A person needs between two to four litres of water for daily consumption, and for domestic uses between 40 to 400 litres per family.

“To stop water scarcity, water-food-energy nexus approach is the way to go,” said Mr Steduto.

He said water, food and energy were inextricably linked and that actions in one area more often than not have impacts in one or all the others.