Thousands face water shortage as rivers dry up in Uasin Gishu

Uasin Gishu County residents have been asked to brace for a looming water shortage after rivers supplying water to households dried up.

Already, Eldoret Water and Sanitation Company Limited (Eldowas) - the sole water provider in the area - has informed locals about the water shortage, and advised them to prepare for rationing.

“In the event that the drought situation continues, the company will be forced to shut down water production from Sosiani, Kapsoya and Naiberi treatment plants,” read a statement from Eldowas.

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“These sources account for over 45 per cent of the company’s water supply.”

Incidentally all these rivers come from Kaptagat forest in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

According to the water firm, the forest cover is already insufficient for sustaining the rising water requirements in the region, and it needs rehabilitation.

Eldowas said Eldoret town is experiencing a water shortfall of 40,000 cubic metres each day. The town requires  over 50,000 cubic metres a day, and the demand is expected to rise because of population explosion.

In the neighbouring Elgeyo Marakwet County, over 70 000 people rely on the Sh1.7 billion Sabor Water Project. River Sabor has dried up. Its source is also in Kaptagat forest.

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Iten Tambach Water and Sanitation Water Company (ITWASCO) Managing director Paul Yator said the river is now over 90 per cent dry.

“We are starring at a looming water crisis because of the drying up rivers. The locals will suffer more if rains will not pound soon,” Mr Yator said

However, North Rift Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Head of Conservancy Benjamin Kinyili blamed the prolonged drought for the receding water volumes.

He said KFS has a plan with stakeholders including Eldowas to plant 10 million trees in Kaptagat forest.

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Uasin Gishu CountyEldoretElgeyo Marakwet CountyForest Cover