Water CS Eugene Wamalwa shown how to operate a drilling machine at Kaloleni dispensary yesterday. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]
NAIROBI: Perennial water problems in Nairobi might be a thing of the past after the Government started drilling three boreholes Tuesday.
The launching of the boreholes, which will be sank in Kaloleni and Kibera, will see Nairobi residents access water close to their houses to cushion them against the harsh effects of poor rains. Some 40 boreholes will be drilled.
In the recent past, Nairobi, among other counties, has been forced to resort to water rationing to ensure equitable distribution of the scarce resource.
“Nairobi has been affected by drought and we have launched the boreholes as a short term measure to address water shortage. Nairobi is the engine of the country thus there must be enough water supply,” said Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.
Wamalwa, who was commissioning the boreholes at Kaloleni health dispensary, said the undertaking was done at a cost of Sh200 million and was in partnership with Nairobi county government.
The drilling of the 40 boreholes is expected to be complete within two weeks. He explained that Nairobi has been relying on water from Ndakaini dam in Murang’a, Kikuyu springs in Kiambu and Sasumua dam all of which are external sources.
As a long-term solution, he said, the Government was working on the northern collector tunnel that would provide 140,000,000 cubic metres of water to the city in a day. “Once we are done, water supply to Nairobi will be normal and rationing will be a thing of the past,” added Wamalwa.
The CS further urged politicians to stop politicising water matters, saying that it was the right of all Kenyans to have access to water regardless of their political affiliations. “Water does not know Jubilee, NASA, Christian, Muslim or tribe. If you condemn the Itare collector and the northern collector then there will be no water for Nairobi and Nakuru residents,” he said.
Nairobi County Water, Environment and Energy Executive Peter Kimori said that as of Tuesday, the city had only been supplying 60 per cent of the water demand to its residents.
Nairobi receives 540,000 cubic metres of water daily against a demand of 740,000 cubic metres every day. Currently, the county is only getting 462,000 cubic metres thus the shortage.
Kimori further said that out of the 76 boreholes in the county, only 56 were operational and the 40 new boreholes would increase water supply.
“The national government should tap ground water to ensure there is sufficient supply for the next 20 years,” said Kimori.