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Agony of dry taps as Nairobi faces water rationing starting New Year

By Moses Nyamori | Published Mon, December 26th 2016 at 16:08, Updated December 26th 2016 at 16:15 GMT +3
Ndakaini Dam at Kigumo in Muranga County whose water is said to have reduced. PHOTO: FILE

Nairobi residents will have dry taps beginning January next year as the city water supply company plans to ration the commodity.

Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) has announced that it will be forced to cut water supply for the next four months due to reduced levels in Ndakaini Dam and other sources.

The rationing plan will run from January 1 until April 2017, when the country is expected to start receiving long rains.

The company's Managing Director Philip Gichuki, however, said that should the country receive some rain before the long rains, the plan could be revised to ensure continued supply of the commodity.

Mr Gichuki said the current short rains expected over the Aberdare catchment have been below average.

He said that the dams only received about 250 mm of rains against the expected average of 1000 mm.

"In order to ensure we safeguard the available water, the company is taking measures through the roll out of the rationing program as a practice done in other cities in the world where the same cases have been experienced," he explained.

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"It is notable that the rainy reasons since 2014 to 2016, including the current short rains expected over the Aberdare catchment, have been below average, therefore contributing to the decreasing levels of water drawn from the rivers. This means that the recharge of the rivers has been poor and currently the river flows are below normal affecting the extraction process," said Eng Gichuki.

The rationing plan will see water supply in Nairobi reduced by about 13 per cent.

This, the company said will mean that those receiving water five days a week will now receiving for four days.

NCWSC said its current production is at 545, 034 cubic metre daily against a demand of 760,000 cubic metr. This is a shortfall of over 214 cubic metre.

 Gichuki further urged Nairobi residents to reduce use of water on non-necessary activities like car washing so as to ensure the available water can sustain the city until April.

"In supporting the company efforts, we appeal to our consumers to use the available water sparingly," he said.

Consequently, the company has announced plans to close down car wash operation to reduce use of water on non-essential activities.

But the company assured Nairobi residents of its commitment to ensuring they get water during the period before resuming normal supply when the long rains start.

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