“Nairobi residents,brace yourselves for more water rationing”Engineer Job Kihamba.

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.”

Current water level in the dam

Water level in the dam as at 5.01.2016.Photo courtesy of Athi Water Services Board.

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. 

Huruma slum residents queue for water.

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.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. This is just SAD!
    Water is life…
    Just moved to a place where water rationing is the norm, the things I do to not waste it?! Hmn…


  2. Gerard N says:

    A good read…I also think its also the biting effects of climate change well..water harvesting will go far in addressing water scarcity in Nairobi and should be encouraged in other parts of the country as well..


  3. Alice Majani says:

    If we understand the root cause as deforestation of the Aberdares; then that is what needs to be fixed. Is there work going on there? Harvesting all the heavy down pour run-off water, will ease off use of dam water hence aid in filling it up back to expected levels- from the Aberdares. Do we still have hydrologists / hydrogeologists in Kenya to model such?


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