An acute water shortage has hit residents of Malindi and its environs following the increased demand caused by large influx of people during the festive season.
This follows increased consumption of water by hoteliers and other consumers since the high tourist season began. Residents and small consumers have been forced to search for the precious commodity by covering long distances.
The problem has really troubled the consumers who entirely depend on the tapped water for drinking. Some have to buy 20 litres containers from vendors at between Sh20 and Sh30 while others have to personally cover long distances to look for the commodity. Most affected areas include Kisumundogo, Myeye, Maweni, and Maisha Mapya.
Malindi Water and Sewerage Company authorities said the consumption doubled since the festive season began and were overwhelmed by the supply. Johnson Randu the company's managing director said the problem was subsiding and the situation is expected to return to normal by the end of the month since it was high tourist season and most hotels in Watamu and Malindi were full. "There has been a shortage but it's going down now, we had double demand for water due to the peak season but it's expected to return to normal by end of January," he said.
Currently he said they were supplying water to the most affected areas using a water boozer so as to contain the situation. He said trouble of water supply was first experienced during the Christmas and New Year holidays as water took less time in the reservoirs to the increased demand of water. The MD said usually they closed the reservoirs for pumping and it took six hours to be full, that on a normal flow when pumped was able to supply for all consumers.
However during the festive season he said the reserveurs usually ran empty immediately they were opened that made it difficult to supply water to all people. Some parts of the town including Barani area and Sun Park are however still getting good flow of water since the shortage began and it is where people flock to scramble for water.
Others who cannot afford the costs and distance have opted for the salty water from wells or mosques for survival until normalcy returned. Tito Mongare a resident of Kisumundogo said he had stored five gallons since the shortage began but now had only five liters left in the house. "There is a crisis in the water supply I have very little water left in the house and will not have the commodity by evening if the situation wont change," he said.
Mongare said if the situation persists he will be forced to walk to Barani area and buy the commodity so as to have stock. The MAWASCO MD said they had alerted all the consumers over the problem and working hard to ensure normalcy return. "We suspect there are some individuals who have channeled the water to their large tanks because the town is full of people and we cannot control the flow," he had said earlier. However a week after the holidays the normal water flow has not completely resumed and consumers are yet to get normal flow.