City water rationing extends to September

Ndakaini Dam in Thika that supplies water to Nairobi residents. (Photo: Wilberforce Okwiri/Standard)

Residents of Nairobi should brace themselves for prolonged water-rationing period.

The hope of having adequate water lies on the short rains which come in October.

The recent long rains increased the volume of water at the Ndakaini Dam, where the city’s four million residents get 84 per cent of their water, by just 15 per cent from an all-time low of 24 per cent in April.

The rationing programme which has left the city residents with dry taps was introduced in January when the water level at Ndakaini dramatically fell to 48 per cent and was supposed to end in June after the long rains.

Now Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company does not have an exact timeline on when water will once again flow consistently to its clients.

“Those were not even rains,” Mbaruku Vyakweli, the company’s spokesman told the Sunday Standard of the just concluded rainy season.

“Unfortunately we will only stop rationing when we have enough rains and this is beyond our control,” he said.

While giving a gloomy picture in terms of rain for the next two months, the weatherman says most part of the country received below normal rainfall in the just ended wet season.

“An assessment of the rainfall recorded from March 1 to date indicates that the rainfall performance was generally poor over most parts of the country. The seasonal rainfall was also characterised by late onset as well as poor distribution, both in time and space,” Peter Ambeje the Acting Director of Meteorological services said.

“Generally sunny and dry weather conditions were dominant over much of the country,” he said.

In its July and August forecast, the Meteorological Department says most parts of the country will remain dry apart from Western and the Coastal strip.

According to a new water distribution programme, some parts of the city will receive water for only 12 hours a week.

This excludes slum areas such as Mathare and Kibera and security installations like the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Owners of water bowsers are making a killing from the shortage as companies and factories increasingly rely on their services.