In Drought-hit Kenya, Selling Water Keeps City’s Young People in Business and Off Drugs
In Drought-hit Kenya, Selling Water Keeps City’s Young People in Business and Off Drugs.
Growing population According to the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC), the capital’s residents need 740,000 cubic meters of water daily to meet demand.
Currently only 462,000 cubic meters of water are being supplied due to declining water levels in the Ndakaini reservoir, said Philip Gichuki, NCWSC’s managing director.
The reservoir, which supplies 85 percent of the city’s water, has a capacity of 70 million cubic meters, but due to poor rains this season, it is only around 40 percent full.
For instance, the Aberdares water tower in central Kenya — the source of rivers feeding the reservoir — has received just 250 mm of rain since December, way below the 1,000 mm it would normally receive in the rainy season, said Gichuki.
"The shortage has forced us to ration water," said Nairobi County’s executive for water, Peter Kimori.
The county government plans to sink 140 boreholes in Nairobi’s fringe estates to ward off future water shortages.
According to the World Bank, there are over 4 million people — around a tenth of Kenya’s population — living in Nairobi and its suburbs.
In 1963, when Kenya attained independence, the city was home to only a third of a million people.
"[It] has not been developed since post-independence days," said Gichuki.