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Pipe dream as majority of population relies on dirty, untreated river water

By Allan Mungai | February 22nd 2020

Rivers are the main source of drinking water for most Kenyans. Access to safe tapped water still remains a mirage for many.

A record 16. 8 per cent of households surveyed reported that the water they used in their homes was drawn from the river. 

Slightly over a quarter, 25.8 per cent, of those in rural areas said rivers were their main source of water compared to 2.6 per cent in town and cities.

Piper water in homes is still a pipe dream for majority of Kenyans. Only 14.1 per cent households have access to piped water from a common pipe in their compounds, while a paltry 10.1 per cent have the water running in their houses.

Kenyans in urban areas are still struggling to access tapped water in their homes. Only 18.1 per cent of households in urban areas have running water in their homes.

The majority, 23.9 per cent, have to make do with accessing water from a shared tap within the plot.

Water vendors are making a killing providing water in homes in Mombasa. Almost half of all the potable water in Mombasa is provided by vendors.

While the national average of households sourcing water from vendors was 8.5 per cent, 43.5 per cent of households in Mombasa said vendors were their primary source.

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Another 20.5 per cent of Mombasa households indicated that they had to contend with queues at public taps to get drinking water.

In Nyeri County, 40.2 per cent of households, the highest in the country, said they had access to piped water from a common point and a further 24.1 per cent said they could access tapped water inside their houses.

Comparatively, 22.7 per cent and 28.4 per cent of households in Nairobi said they had water piped in their houses and their plots respectively.

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