The plight of water shortage in Kayole.

By Sally Kivaya

Approximately half a million people living in Kayole continue to suffer due to lack of adequate clean and safe water. This inadequacy has been caused by the growing population which has stretched the facilities and infrastructure to their limits. Neglect from state agencies in charge of water and sewerage, rogue politicians and cartels interfering with water supply for their own personal gains are the myriad causes of shortage.

The number of boreholes being dug in the area has seen an influx to meet the demand for water supply currently being experienced. This issue has caused the residents of Kayole to face major challenges in carrying their day to day activities like cooking and washing. It is a common site to see long queues of people lining up with jerrycans and hand carts carrying jerrycans filled with water.

According to a research carried out by Kayole Community Justice Centre on water and sanitation, residents of kayole face a lot of hardships due to lack of water. In areas like Kayole South, the residents have to buy water every week since water comes once or twice a week and it’s not enough to sustain them through the week.

Sometimes the water coming from the taps is either dirty and reeking of sewage forcing residents to buy water from water vendors. A twenty liters Jerri can of water cost between 15-30 shillings, this has major financial implications on the households. Poor infrastructure also affects the quality and quantity of water that the people get.

In some areas people get water which has been contaminated by human waste due to both sewer pipes and water pipes bursting, posing health hazards. There have been reports of people getting cholera in Kayole south and Soweto. The solution which is borehole water is also not safe for consumption without it being treated. Lack of water has also affected other activities such as learning and conducting business. Hotel owners complain that it’s hard to keep their businesses afloat since most of their profits go to buying water. Learners have to miss school at least ones a week in order to fetch water.

There have been numerous complaints from the community being slapped by water bills from Nairobi Water yet their taps have been running dry. Some landlords are also in cahoots with authority by hiking rent in order to cover the huge water bills handed to them.

According to article 43 of the constitution every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities and this is the government’s responsibility to the residents of Kayole. The research revealed that state agencies involved in water and sewerage, had little to no interaction with majority of the people.

They also expressed that elected representatives are unwilling to solve the crisis of water shortage. This prompted some of the community members to visit the Nairobi City water and sewerage company branch in Bee Centre to express their grievances, but up to now the residents of Kayole continue to carry heavy financial constraints of buying water daily.





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