Locals court diseases as only water source is contaminated

Residents fetching water at River Molo in Mogotio, Baringo County. The river is the only source of water for the residents. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Residents of Mogotio risk contracting disease due to contaminated water.

The people and their animals rely on River Molo, the only source of water in the area.

Residents fetch water for domestic use and wash clothes and bathe in the river. Livestock also drink from the river.

Acute water shortage due to prolonged drought has compounded the situation. 

"We have not had piped water in this area for over 20 years. I have been fetching water from the river since I was born. My children are now using water from the same river," said Mary Muthoni.

Solomon Tetegori said the river, on the boarder of Nakuru and Baringo counties, was the only source of water. 

"I use the water for cooking, washing, and even drinking. We don't have any other source of water," said the 50-year-old.

Source of water

He added: "But I have to get there early in the morning if I want to get clean water. If you go to the river later in the day you will find people bathing and others washing clothes. This is putting residents at the risk of contracting disease."

Silas Onyango operates a car wash by the river. The dirty water flows back into the river. Vendors get water from the river to sell to hotels and homesteads around Mogotio town.

“I supply to four hotels in the town. A good number of those living far from the river rely on me for water. They don't mind that it is dirty because they understand the river is the only source of water,” said a vendor.

The Baringo County executive for Water and Irrigation, Joel Koima, said the administration was putting in place measures to ensure constant supply of clean water. He did not give any details.

"Water has been a problem in the county and we will ensure it is solved. Residents should also harvest rain water," he said.