Taps in most Nairobi estates are dry and the situation has been the same for more than six weeks now.Where yours truly resides,there has not been any drip of water in 2018.Nairobians were optimistic when Mike Sonko grabbed the governorship,he seemed to be working then we don't know what went wrong.From August to December we had plenty of water,had we known,we would have stored enough. Just when we thought our problems with water had found a permanent solution,alas!!! here we are again.So are we heading the direction of Cape Town, where the authorities have warned against daily bathes as the situation worsens?
In our man-eat-man society,cartels are everywhere from education to the county water department.And since corruption is Kenya's second name,it leaves poor residents at the mercy of this unscrupulous people.Nairobi being a top city in Africa-soon we will be home to Africa's tallest skyscraper-we should have a constant water supply.We therefore should live up to the status. Lack of water should be dealt with beginning with the simplest ways to the more complicated ones.Things like inspection of water pipes to discourage illegal connection should be done regularly.Then later we focus on fixing Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company and the filth in there.
There are two things at play here;the major one obviously being kickbacks and the other being lack of political will.Paul Ongili famously known as Babu Owino,promised his constituents that he would work tirelessly to solve the water paradox that has been bedevilling them.We will wait with fingers crossed to see if Babu makes this a reality,but that will be real tough to accomplish,for now he has the benefit of doubt.The ongoing road construction in some parts of Embakasi East has piled more misery to the residents.The contractor apparently cut off water pipes linking the estates.
But if you have been a keen Nairobian,you must have noticed that ghettos like Kibra and Mathare never run out of water completely like the middle class estates.Reason being Kibra is close to the retired president Moi's old residence at DC while Mathare borders Moi Airbase barracks never lack water.In other estates like Kayole,Dandora,Kariobangi etc the unemployed youth take the blame.They resort to illegal water connection and then a building that should have water eventually gets no water.You then end up paying more for water despite the money having been initially included in your rent.Other "waterpreneurs" bring a handcart full of 20-litre jerricans to your doorstep and sell it to you expensively.You are forced to buy the water even without knowing how clean the water is.There have been claims of people buying sewer water.Have I even mentioned the insults that will be hurled at you if you refuse to buy handcart water at your doorstep?It is said these water vendors collude with county officials to fleece Nairobians.
If you have visited social media recently,you might have seen pictures doing rounds of Muran'ga residents scrambling for water.A county as green suffering acute water shortage is reason enough for alarm.The volumes of water in the rivers have lowered badly.Environmentalists had earlier faulted a multi-billion underground water project being undertaken in the county.The project besides the diminishing forest that was once Mau are the cause of drought in Muran'ga which feeds it's surplus water to Nairobi.
However,in my view,I think Nairobi should have stopped depending on unsteady water supply ages ago.The little knowledge of Geology I have tells me there is enough fresh water right beneath us.That aside,the government distributes petroleum to all towns in Kenya,how then is it a problem to distribute water,that is basically more important than oil?