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December 10, 2018

Sonko offers Sh300,000 reward in crackdown against water cartels

A water vendor pulls his handcart along Moi Avenue, Nairobi. /FILE
A water vendor pulls his handcart along Moi Avenue, Nairobi. /FILE

Nairobi Governor Sonko has offered a cash reward of Sh300,000 to city residents who will bust and arrest water cartels who divert water to private vendors in estates.

The governor on Saturday launched a crackdown targeting the cartels who have been blamed for water shortage in the city.

Speaking on Saturday at Kiboro grounds in Mathare during the monthly clean-up exercise, Sonko also offered a reward of Sh10,000 to the public if they bust and arrest Nairobi City County Government officials who collude with water cartels to divert water.

“Investigations reveal that the water shortage being experienced in many parts of Nairobi is as a result of sabotage by water cartels whose days are now numbered,” Sonko said.

The county chief said his administration is determined to nab the criminals.

In a statement, the governor said water demand for Nairobi residents stands at 790,000 cubic meters against a production capacity of 526,000 cubic meters.

Water demand in Nairobi grows by 20,000 cubic meters per year.

Read: Nairobi residents feel the pinch of water shortage

Sonko, however, promised that his administration, the national government and World Bank in collaboration with other donors are funding construction of phase 1 of the northern collector tunnel that will supply 140,000 cubic meters of water to Nairobi.

The project is expected to be completed by October next year.

“This project will divert flood water to the tunnel from three rivers; Gikigie, Irati and Maragua in Murang’a. The tunnel will bring water to Thika/Ndakaini dam whose yield today is unable to support the required production capacity of Ngethu water treatment works of 440,000 cubic meters,” Sonko said.

Sonko further said his administration is working on plans to improve water supply to Langata and Karen areas.

He said a pipeline is being laid from Kabete to Uthiru before connecting to Karen shopping centre and linking with the pipeline along Langata road.

“This will address water supply problems in the whole of Langata constituency and remove the water conflict between Kibra and Langata constituencies,” Sonko said.

“At South C along the Olive hospital road, the county has a 24,000,000 liter water tank which has the capacity to supply water to the entire Langata constituency," Sonko added.

He, however, expressed concern that many residential houses have been built on water lines that at some point the pipeline was blocked from supplying water to the reservoir.

Estates within Langata are currently not receiving enough water because the pipeline which serves the area passes through Kibera where cartels have diverted water to sell to private vendors.

“To address this problem, for the last two weeks we have been holding community mobilization meetings with the Kibera residents on how they can be served and release more water to estates in Lang'ata," Sonko said.

He added: "We have come into consensus on how to rationalize the water pipelines without causing any violence in the area and to also avoid water shortage which can lead to cholera and other water borne diseases outbreak."

See also: How Nairobi water cartels conned former CJ Willy Mutunga in 2016

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