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December 1, 2023
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Slum residents to get piped water after Covid-19 pandemic

President Kenyatta commissions the Muthua community water supply project earlier this year

Households in Nairobi’s informal settlements will eventually have to pay subsidised rates for piped water connected to their homes from 193 boreholes. 

Connections are part of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services post-Covid-19 long-term plan to ensure water supply to slums. 

NMS director general Mohammed Badi said Athi Water Works and the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company will manage the boreholes after the NMS’s term expires in March 2022. 

“After NMS’s exit, Nairobi Water and Athi Waterworks will take over running the 193 boreholes. They will be expected to provide piped water at subsidised rates to informal settlements,” he said in an interview last week. 

The boreholes have been drilled by NMS in partnership with Athi Water Works for Sh1.7 billion. 

Badi said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, residents in slums are getting free water from the boreholes staffed by youths in the communities. 

However, after the pandemic subsides, Badi said Nairobi Water and Athi Waterworks will connect pipes to households and residents will pay subsidised rates. 

“Hoping the situation will go back to normal, all they have to do is piping water and connecting metre gauges so slum dwellers pay less than other estates,” Badi said. 

At least two million residents, mostly in informal settlement, are getting free water from the 193 boreholes. The boreholes supply more than 40 million litres. 

According to a United Nations report in 2019, more than 90 per cent of the population in Kenya’s urban areas had access to clean water in 1990. 

In 2019, it was estimated only 50 per cent of Nairobi’s 4.5 million residents had direct access to piped water. 

The other half gets water from vendors, illegal connections and water kiosks. 

Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned five water projects in Nairobi, including the Muthua, Kayole, Dandora, Kabiria and Huruma community water projects. 

Residents in those areas have been relieved of the stress of purchasing water. 

The water crisis since 2017 in the capital has been keenly felt by residents in informal settlements. 

Due to the shortage, Nairobi residents have been exploited by water vendors. 

Water demand has increased to more than 810, 000 cubic metres daily against an installed production of 525, 600 cubic meters daily, representing a demand gap of 284, 400 cubic meters. 

NMS said the boreholes have reduced the number of water cartels in the county. 


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