Kisii residents grapple with water shortage

Women wake up at 3am to beat long queues

In Summary

• Water vendors make a killing selling 20-litre jerry can at Sh 50.

• Kisii CEC for Water blames drought and delay in completion of Kegati water project

Water vendors in Kisii town
SCARCITY: Water vendors in Kisii town
Image: FILE

Residents of Kisii town have been forced to walk long distances to rivers and springs in search of water due to a severe shortage.

Residents complained of dry taps while others blamed slow work by a Chinese contractor upgrading the Kegati water supply station.

Gekomu resident George Ombuna said he has gone without water for three weeks. He has spent Sh3,000 on buying the commodity from vendors.

The vendors sell 20 litres at Sh50. 

"It's is tough for those with large families like me. The problem is compounded by leaking pipes which nobody seems bothered to repair," Ombuna said.

He said he has suspended constructing his house until the rains come.

"It is untenable because I had already spent Sh15,000 on water alone," he said.

Residents of Mwembe, Milimani and Jogoo estates are also grappling with water shortage.

Those living in estates uphill pay more for the commodity.

Vendors say it is difficult to push carts uphill.

In Mwembe, the Star witnessed dozens of women and children with cans fetching water at two points where pipes have been vandalised for leakages.

Some residents have been forced to go to springs at night to beat the long morning queues.

"I had been waking up at 3 am to go fetch water before I come back to prepare to go to work. I sometimes feel sleepy in the office," Naomy Ongaki said.

She is a nurse in Kisii town.

Hoteliers said they were spending a lot of money on buying water from bowsers.

"I spend Sh13,000 on water alone. It will take me months to recover that money, " Kerosi Ondieki said.

Water and Environment executive Skitter Ocharo said perennial water shortages will end once the Kegati water project is complete.

"We are aware that these challenges are being experienced by our people but we should give the contractor time to finish his work," Ocharo said.

She said the county government has asked the contractor to hasten the works after delays.

"We have met and expressed our concerns, which he said he will address by speeding up the project," Ocharo said.

She attributed water shortage to drought. 


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