• The plan is to repurpose an unused KPC pipeline from Mzima Springs to carry water to Mombasa
• The Treasury and Water ministry will pay but there are concerns about consumer safety
The Union of Kenya Petroleum Oil Workers is complaining that the repurposing of an old KPC pipeline from Mzima Springs to Mombasa poses a health threat to consumers. This seems more like a union seeking any opportunity to bash the employer rather than a genuine concern.
Mombasa island is water-starved. There is an unused old pipeline that can be connected to Mzima Springs with 200 metres of new pipe to then provide Mombasa with gravity feed water. It seems like a no-brainer.
The project will cost Sh750 million for both phases but the Treasury and Water ministry will pay so that is not an issue.
But is there "serious risk to human health" as alleged by the union?
Firstly, it is unhealthy to drink water from boreholes as it is brackish and salty, especially at the Coast. The water from Mzima Springs will definitely be purer.
Secondly, the pipeline will be flushed out of petroleum products and tested by Nema and others before use. There should be no risk to Mombasa residents.
The KPC plan is reasonable but proper environmental and health audits should be undertaken before final distribution to Mombasa residents.
Quote of the day: "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought."
The French philosopher was born on October 18, 1859