In an unexpected juxtaposition of events, heavy rainfall drenches Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, yet the region is struck with severe water scarcity. Nairobi City Water & Sewerage Company, the primary water supplier, has resorted to water rationing to manage the limited water supply effectively. This decision has come despite the ongoing rains, as the precipitation has proven insufficient to alleviate the city's water shortage problem.
Water Rationing Amid Rainfall: A Paradox
The water supply in Nairobi is limited due to the installed production capacity, necessitating water rationing to ensure fair distribution among the city's residents. The Kenya Meteorological Department forecasts heavy rainfall until 2024, but the city's water situation remains grim. The national government has allocated Ksh10 billion to deal with the effects of the rains, but the water scarcity persists.
Initiatives to Boost Water Supply
The Nairobi City County Government has clarified that the water rationing is not merely due to the lack of rainfall. It also points to the need for water treatment before reaching consumers, further limiting the available water supply. However, the county is not staying idle in the face of these challenges. Four projects are currently underway to boost the city's water supply by 23 million liters per day. These efforts, funded and scheduled to augment the water supply by 2026, exhibit a proactive approach to tackling the water scarcity issue.
Upcoming Water Projects
Two significant projects in the pipeline include the Northern Collector Tunnel Phase I Water Project and the Karemenu Dam Water Project. The former is expected to be commissioned in March 2024, and the latter is in its final stages of completion. These projects, once operational, will play a crucial role in enhancing Nairobi's water supply capacity, hopefully leading to the cessation of water rationing in the city.
This dual narrative of water scarcity amidst heavy rainfall and the proactive initiatives to increase water supply is a telling tale of Nairobi's resilience in the face of environmental challenges. As the city inches closer to the completion of its water projects, the hope is for a future where water scarcity becomes a thing of the past.