Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has launched a massive crackdown on water ‘cartels’, who he says are largely to blame for perennial shortage within the capital city.
The governor has offered a cash reward of Sh300,000 for anyone who will bust and arrest the said cartel members, who divert water to private vendors by disconnecting water pipes in city estates.
Speaking on Saturday at Kiboro grounds in Mathare during the monthly clean-up exercise, Sonko also offered a reward of Sh10,000 to the public if they bust and arrest Nairobi City County Government officials who collude with water cartels to divert water.
The county chief however said his administration is determined to nab the culprits.
“We are determined to identify and arrest these water cartels who divert piped water to private water vendors. It is apparent that the water shortage being experienced in many parts of Nairobi is as a result of sabotage by these cartels whose days are now numbered. We will find them,” said Governor Sonko.
The City Hall boss added that they will also arrest individuals found destroying water pipes and other property of the county.
Nairobi County has been experiencing water rationing since April 2017 with the huge difference in demand and supply being blamed on insufficient installed water infrastructure where the treatment works has designed production capacity.
This has been occasioned by demand outstripping supply as Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company can only produce a maximum of 526,000 cubic meters of water daily against a demand of 790,000 cubic meters.
Governor Sonko said that this demand is estimated to be increasing by 20,000 cubic meters per year in the county.
At the same, the governor said that his administration is working on plans to improve water supply to Langata and Karen areas.
He said that a pipeline is being done from Kabete to Uthiru then going all the way to Karen Shopping Centre before it is connected to an existing pipeline along Langata road.
“This will address water supply problems in the whole of Langata constituency and remove the water conflict between Kibra and Langata constituencies,” he said.
The City Hall boss has, however, blamed construction of residential houses on top of a 24 million litre reservoir tank situated along Olive Hospital road in South C that has the capacity to supply water to the entire Langata constituency.
“So many residential houses have been constructed on top of the water pipeline and at some point blocked the pipeline from supplying water to this major reservoir tank,” he said.
Estates in the constituency are currently not getting enough water because the pipeline which serves the area passes through Kibera where cartels have obstructed water to sell to private vendors within the constituency.