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LONG-LASTING SOLUTION

Mombasa residents to quench their thirst with more boreholes

The region receives only 40,000 cubic meters of water per day against the demand of 200,000 cubic meters of water

In Summary

•Water and Sanitation company acting manager Abdirahman Farah says the Sh20 billion Mwache Dam project in Kwale will help get an additional 186,000 cubic meters.

•The county is also rehabilitating the Kipevu West Water Plant which is going to be a game-changer.

Bagladesh residents in Mikidani in Mombasa queue to get free water.
WATER SCARCITY: Bagladesh residents in Mikidani in Mombasa queue to get free water.
Image: AURA RUTH

Mombasa receives less than 30 per cent of the water required to meet its daily demand, the county government has said.

The county does not have its water sources.

It depends on water from Baricho in Kilifi, Mzizima in Taita Taveta, Marere and Tiwi in Kwale.

Mombasa Water and Sanitation company acting manager Abdirahman Farah says the region receives only 40,000 cubic meters of water per day against the demand of 200,000 cubic meters of water.

“It is a big challenge, but we are trying to look for other alternative sources for long-lasting solutions,” he said.

Farah said they are planning to come up with more boreholes.

However, the cost of energy has been a challenge.

He said they are still in negotiation to get a conventional tariff.

“If we get a quite affordable tariff, it will help reduce the operation cost and make the water affordable,” he said.

He spoke on Tuesday during World Water Day.

He said the Sh20 billion Mwache Dam project in Kwale will help Mombasa get an additional 186,000 cubic meters.

“That will be almost five times what we are getting today, this will help us meet our daily demand,” he said.

Farah said Mombasa has a population of 1.2 million people, but an additional 300,000 people from the neighbouring counties come to work, for leisure and do business in Mombasa.

“This means the demand for water rises,” he said. 

Farah said they can only ration the water by distributing it to the subcounties on specific days.

He said the Mombasa system has 80,000 accounts of registered members who are their primary target.

However, those who receive water daily and pay bills every month are about 27,000, meaning there are 53,000 inactive accounts.

“We are in a bad state but there is hope in the future,” he said.

The county is also rehabilitating the Kipevu West Water Plant which is going to be a game-changer.

Water will be treated, recycled and channelled to industries for industrial purposes and irrigation, not for human consumption.

“By doing this, water taken in those industries can be diverted for human consumption. Kipevu has a capacity of 8,000 cubic meters a day, that is more water, we want to do a holistic integrated approach, every received water will be accounted for,” Farah said.

Caroline Auma, a resident of Bangladesh said they have not had water since the construction of the main road which began five years ago.

“We depend on water from a donor who brings it three times a week and it is very little compared to the population living here. Women wake up at 3 am to go and wait for water,” she said.

Auma said they are sometimes forced to buy water at Sh30 per 20-litre jerrycan.

The residents are now calling upon the government to intervene and provide clean water.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

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