By Lijodi Linneah
Despite the fact that water is a basic need and the government should provide clean and adequate water, this is not the case in the informal settlements. Water is supplied by water cartels who double and sometimes triple the rates. The state of hygiene also puts the residents at a constant risk of cholera outbreaks which have been rampant in the informal settlement.
These are low income areas, hence the residents experience the poverty penalty by having to pay so much for a very important commodity. The situation has however improved ever since Nairobi Metropolitan Services dug boreholes and brought around water boozers. Now, most households have been saving a few coins and putting them to other household uses. The free water that has come with the Nairobi metropolitan services leadership has been of tremendous help to this informal settlement. Now the residents are privileged to get free clean water. This has also helped in reducing water borne diseases especially cholera.
During the COVID-19pandemic, free water has proved God sent in these low income areas. Before, women and children would have had to walk long distances to fetch it or waste a lot of time while queuing to get it. Although water boozers are not a long time solution, boreholes are and a number of women have expressed satisfaction with the quality of the water and agree unanimously that their households are able to save a lot of money now that water is clean and free.
The Nairobi metropolitan services water has been like a breath of fresh air to the people in Mukuru. The free water is a ray of hope that the government will now remember them in service providence. Until then, we will continue enjoying our borehole water.