OLD WATER PIPELINE BLAMED

Water shortage hits Taita Taveta after pipeline bursts

Consumers in the affected areas warned to use available water sparingly

In Summary

•Frequent bursts of the Mzima main water pipeline has caused the acute water shortage in parts of the Coast region.

•The pipeline supplies water to Taita Taveta, Kwale and Mombasa.

A technical team from Coast Water Works Development Agency and the Tavevo Water company working on the repair of Mzima water pipeline at Tsavo East National Park.
OLD WATER PIPELINE BLAMED: A technical team from Coast Water Works Development Agency and the Tavevo Water company working on the repair of Mzima water pipeline at Tsavo East National Park.
Image: SOLOMON MUINGI

Frequent bursting of the Mzima main water pipeline has caused an acute water shortage in Taita Taveta and parts of the Coast region for the last week.

The pipeline supplies water to Taita Taveta, Kwale and Mombasa.

Taita Taveta Water and Sewerage Company said the burst that occurred last week in Tsavo East National Park had been repaired and normalcy restored.

“We wish to inform you that repair works are complete. Normal water supply is expected to resume as per our rationing program,” the company statement said.

However, hours later, another major burst was reported on Wednesday evening, rendering the residents thirsty for more days.

“Another burst has just been reported approximately 2km from the previous burst. Normal water supply will be interrupted and will resume on completion of the repair works,” the company said.

Customers in the affected areas were warned to use available water sparingly.

The Coast Water Works Development Agency is expected to repair the pipeline.

A technical team from the agency and Tavevo Water and Sewerage Company Limited are working on the repair.

Oscar Mwakughu, a resident, asked the government to replace the entire pipeline attributing the frequent bursts to its old age.

Another resident Wakesho  Elizabeth said the water company had let down consumers on its mandate to supply clean water.

She said people are now forced to buy water from vendors, who she said had turned out to exploit desperate residents.

“Which available water should we use sparingly yet we did not even have any? It's high time they devise alternative ways of ensuring water supply is not affected by these bursts,” Wakesho said.

Hotel operators in Voi have further decried the disruption of their business due to the water crisis.

They said a 20-litre water barrel is now costing Sh100 thus making business unprofitable.

The suffering comes even as residents question the delay in implementation of the proposed Mzima II water project.

The government announced the implementation project in 2017 but since then, it has not been launched.

The Sh42 billion water project is expected to address the perennial water shortage in Voi, Wundanyi, Mwatate and Taveta constituencies while the surplus will serve the coastal city of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi.

It was supposed to ease dependence on the old Mzima pipeline.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris