Dwindling water supply spells grim future for Nairobi
The tea farms that surround the Ndakai-ini Dam on the slopes of Nyandarua ridges add to the beauty and serenity of the picturesque terrain that harvests 75 per cent of the water used in Nairobi— more than 60 kilometres away.
But behind this beautiful scenery lurks the sad story: This dam can no longer supply enough water to city residents as demand has outstripped supply.
While the water levels have been dwindling, thanks to deforestation on the upper slopes of the ridges, the rising population of Nairobi now means that Ndakai-ini will have to be supplemented by other sources.
The Athi Water Services Board (AWSB), which is charged with expanding the water infrastructure says daily demand by Nairobi residents alone stands at 750,000 cubic metres a day against the supply capacity of 530,000 cubic metres, leaving a daily deficit of up to 220,000 cubic metres.
“The board needs in excess of Sh40 billion to implement a long term project that would end water shortage in the city by 2030,” said Rose Nyaga, the Chief Executive Officer of Athi Water Services Board.
This situation mirrors the general failure by other water companies to plan ahead, thus dimming the country’s prospects of fresh water security.
According to the director of water sector reforms in the Water ministry, Mr Peter Ombogo, out of the 120 companies formed in 2002 as part of the changes in the water sector, only 22 can meet their expenditure.