Nairobians Told To Brace For 'Tough Times' As Ndakaini Water Level Drops A Record Lowest.


CSs Eugene Wamalwa and Judi Wakhungu address the press at Ndakaini Dam during a fact finding mission on Wednesday. Looking on is the Athi Water Services board chairman Wachira Keen (extreme left).

As the weather predictions show that the drought conditions will intensify, residents of Kenya’s capital Nairobi have been told to prepare for tough times before the long rains in April.

While on a fact finding mission at Ndakaini Dam in Murang’a County, the Current Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Water and Irrigation Eugene Ludovic Wamalwa and his counterpart in the Ministry of Environment and Regional Development Authorities Judi Wangalwa Wakhungu learnt that the water level had dropped to a record lowest since the year 2009 dropping from 70million m3 to 29 million m3, representing a drop of 41.5%.

However, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company Ltd Production Manager Phillip Githinji assured the resident that there was no cause for worry as the company was well prepared to serve water until the month of April.

“The drop of water in the dam has dropped drastically due to the effects of drought but we are able to supply water to Nairobi residents until April this year. However, we advise the residents to use the water they have sparingly and conserve the little they get as they are going to experience reduced water supply in the next few months,” said Githinji.

Githinji added that Nairobians, who constitute to 80% of their clientele base, will start receiving water in rations beginning today (Thursday).

“Areas that used to receive water twice a week have not been affected. But those receiving it three or four times, will now receive it on fewer days,” he added.

The drop has been caused by Other than water rationing, the company has started to crack down on all illegal carwash businesses. He said that they had instructed the police to arrest any car wash operator who defied orders to close down during this tough period.

CS Wamalwa said that the government had set aside Ksh. 5 billion to cover the first quarter of this year up to the end of this month and another Ksh. 9 billion to address the drought situation from February through to June 2017.

“Basically today we are visiting the main water sources that serve Nairobi County. As we speak, the water levels have drastically dropped and as the national government, after an early warning by the meteorological department, we set aside 5b to cover the first quarter that runs up to this January. We also set aside about 9b to address the drought situation beginning February until May when we expect the rains,” said Wamalwa.
The state of Ndakaini Dam whose water has dropped by 41% currently standing at 29 million m3

He said that with the increasing population in the capital, the government was also looking into alternative ways to mitigate the drought that included the Northern Collector Tunnel, a 2030 project tailor-made to address such problems.

“The project is now 20% complete and we expect that by June next year, it will be ready so that when the rains come, we will harvest the floods into the tunnel that will bring that water into Ndakaini Dam. We are putting up a treatment plant in Kigoro to pump over 140 million m3 more water into the system,” he said.

Wamalwa noted that as a Ministry, they will sink 40 more boreholes to supplement the water supply in Nairobi, to add on the present 75, which unfortunately, only 56 are operational.

He assured the people of Muranga County that they were also putting up Ksh. 4 billion worth of projects in Gatanga and Ithanga to ensure that they too enjoyed about 39 million m3 of water.

CS Wakhungu said that they were putting stringent measures to protect the Aberdares as a critical catchment area for the water used in Nairobi.

“Reforestation programmes are on-going and we have also fenced off a large part of the Aberdares Forest to protect it from intrusion. As a country, we now have a ‘Climate Change Act’, the first one in Africa, as we prepare to launch a Climate Change Council that will be chaired by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta that is going to lead us in the protection of the environment,” said Wakhungu.

She added that the government will set aside money to put up weather stations in every county so that each one of them could actually predict the weather in the local level.
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