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February 22, 2018

[VIDEO] Over 50,000 Mombasa households can't access clean water

WAG secretary Maureen Atieno, member Sarah Odhiambo, 'Maji Na Ufanisi' program officer Simon Kazungu and Ali Babu (chair MC-WAG) during a meeting at Tudor, Mombasa, February 14, 2018. /ERNEST CORNEL
WAG secretary Maureen Atieno, member Sarah Odhiambo, 'Maji Na Ufanisi' program officer Simon Kazungu and Ali Babu (chair MC-WAG) during a meeting at Tudor, Mombasa, February 14, 2018. /ERNEST CORNEL

Over 50,000 households in Mombasa have no access to clean water and sanitation, two NGOs have said.

Maji Na Ufanisi and Mombasa Water Action Group said out of a population of over 1.2 million, 25 per cent relies on water vendors.

Simon Kazungu, program officer at Maji na Ufanisi said those without access walk over a kilometre or more than 30 minutes to get just five litres of water per day.

"Basic access is considered to be achieved where up to to 20 litres per capita per day is available within one kilometre or 30 minutes round trip," he said.

Read: Counties get Sh2bn donation to improve clean water access

He noted such water is untreated and has exacerbated the spread of water-born diseases.

"Only 27 per cent of Mombasa has access to sewer or septic tank infrastructure. Those with covered latrines contributes to 52.8 per cent while 16.5 per cent are uncovered," he said.

He and other officials of MC-WAG spoke on Wednesday at Tudor where they urged the County to develop and implement a water master plan.

"Access to safe drinking water is one of the Millennium Development Goals. Access to safe drinking water is an essential element of sustainable development, central to the goal of poverty reduction," Kazungu said.

Mombasa gets 43,000 cubic metres of water daily against a demand of 182,000 cubic metres..

"There is need for ensuring that clean and safe water is accessible to all," Kazungu said.

MC-WAG member Sarah Odhiambo asked the county to implement and adequately address any barriers to inadequate water distribution infrastructure.

"Poor water supply management, high cost of connection and high recurrent costs must be equally addressed," she said.

Kazungu said water sources, flood-prone areas and water pans must be positioned and mapped.

"We call for development of county water resources management strategy that assesses water situations," Kazungu said.

The programme officer said the poor should be prioritized during extension of water and sanitation.

HAKI Africa Programme Officer Francis Auma said water cartels in the county are to be blame for perennial scarcity.

"We need an urgent water reform strategy," he said.

Auma said there is no political goodwill in addressing the challenges.

Also read; Water access for 122,000 improves

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