The current water shortage in the country’s capital is posing a major economic challenge to the residents who have to queue for hours to get water.
Constructed in 1988 by the Kenyan Government to suppy water to the residents of Nairobi county,Ndakaini(Thika) dam has been unable to meet the city’s water demand over the past few months.
The 65 meter high zoned embakment dam with a storage capacity of 70,000,000 million cubic metres and catchment area of 75square kilometres has experienced a reduction in the amount of inflow from Rivers Thika,Githika and Kayuyu.
The reduced inflow into the dam is attributed to the lack of rainfall and deforestation in the Aberdare Ranges; the source of River Thika which lets 50% of its water into the dam.
Engineer Job Kihamba,the officer in charge of the dam says, “the massive deforestation of the Aberdare Ranges is affecting the recharge of River Thika when rain falls,Nairobi residents should therefore brace themselves for water rationing as the water levels in the dam have reduced to 41.2%,the dam received 250 millimetres (mm) of water as opposed to 1,000 mm, from the three Rivers prompting the rationing.”
The residents who used to receive water four times a week in the previous years, only receive the precious commodity once a week,some have to queue for hours for it whereas some have to buy it for as high as Kshs 100 for a 20 litre jerrycan from the water vendors.
Last year,the city was faced with major floods arising from high intensity rainfall pounding it.
If properly tapped,surface runoff and roof top rainwater can help reduce the current water shortage in the country’s capital.
Surface run-off and roof top water can be directed into percolation tanks to augument ground water whereas underground storage water tanks can utilise rainwater for toilet flushing,washing and watering gardens.