Delays on Itare Dam keeps Nakuru taps dry

A section of the stalled Itare Dam project in Kuresoi South, Nakuru. [kipsang Joseph, Standard]

This deficit is to shoot up as construction and industrial parks within the county continue to take shape following the quest to reposition Nakuru as one of Kenya's major industrial hubs.

Due to this shortfall, some residents who don't have their own sources have to stock water in tanks within their residences as there is no assured continuous flow of tap water.

"On average, we supply for about 20 hours per day. This means that there are areas which get less than this. Some disadvantaged estates such as Kwa Rhonda and Kaptembwo get little," he said.

The Director reveals that 95 percent of the city's water supply is sourced from boreholes in different parts of the peri-urban electoral wards, with only a few in the city.

"We have about 40 boreholes in areas with good quality water for domestic use. We have 14 boreholes in Kabatini, 8 in Free Area, seven near Solai and only six within the city," said Gachathi.

He explained that they are hopeful that Itare Dam will be completed soon, noting that boreholes can sometimes have disrupted supply based on their capacity as years go by.

"Nearly 75 percent of the dam's water is set to end up in the city. This will be a great milestone for the people of Nakuru, who will have a consistent supply of clean tap water," said Gachathi.

Nakuru Rural Water and Sanitation Company (NARUWASCO) is another public water company tasked with supplying over 1.1 million residents spread in 7,000 square kilometre rural areas.

Some areas served by NARUWASCO, such as Rongai, Molo, Kiamunyi, and Njoro, located along the underground tunnel conveying water to Nakuru, are among those set to benefit from Itare dam.

Here, the government intends to connect rural households to piped water to boost food production through irrigation.

The earmarked rural areas that are partly semi-arid are among the worst affected in the county following the prolonged drought that has impacted their food production for two years.

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