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SIX MONTHS OF AGONY

Juja residents turn to wells for water as scarcity rages

Water firm still billing them despite halting supply in the villages.

In Summary

• More than 4,000 residents were cut off from Kinyathena community water project six months ago.

• Hygiene standards in the village have deteriorated to extreme levels because of the crisis.

Nyacaba Village residents draw water from a well on Monday.
DIRE SITUATION Nyacaba Village residents draw water from a well on Monday.
Image: JOHN KAMAU

Residents of Muthaara, Nyacaba and Malaba villages in Juja have turned to abandoned quarries and wells for water as their taps have gone dry for six months.

More than 4,000 residents were cut off from Kinyathena community water project six months ago.

Those who spoke to journalists on Monday said vendors have taken advantage of the situation and are selling a 20-litre jerrycan at between Sh40 and Sh60.

They said the Covid-19 crisis has worsened the situation since most of them lost their jobs in neighbouring flower plantations.  

Jane Wanini said hygiene standards in the village have deteriorated to extreme levels because of the crisis. They fear an outbreak of waterborne diseases.

“Already, cases of typhoid and stomach problems are on the rise due to the use of untreated water. We have no option,” Wanini said.

They also fear that Covid-19 might strike the village and spread fast because they cannot wash hands frequently and thoroughly as required. 

"The matter is compounded by the fact that schools and colleges are now closed and children are at home," Wanini said.

Nyacaba village residents in Juja draw water from a well on Monday.
SCARCE Nyacaba village residents in Juja draw water from a well on Monday.
Image: JOHN KAMAU

The residents said that despite halting supply to the village, the water firm was still billing them.

“It’s a sad affair that the management is bringing bills every month and yet they don’t provide us with the essential commodity,” Susan Wambui said.

Wambui said that numerous pleas to the project’s management to supply them with water during this difficult period have fallen on deaf ears.

But the project’s chairman David Kihato blamed the crisis in the villages on population growth and delayed payment of bills.

Kihato said the villagers owe the project Sh7 million. Non-payment has stalled repairs of damaged pipes and proper piping to homes, he said. 

“Financial constraints have disrupted our activities because our clients have failed to clear their debts. Our hands are tied,” he said.

The residents urged the Kiambu government to address their plight.

(edited by o. owino)