The Star (Nairobi)

20 February 2012

Kenya: Taps Run Dry in Kinango As Drought Hits Mzima Springs

AN acute water shortage has hit residents of Kinango district in Kwale county with leaders in the region. The scarcity of water has entered the fifth day now. Kwale Water and Sewerage Company MD Nyundo Katembo has attributed the shortage to low levels of water at Mzima in Taita-Taveta County.

Speaking at the weekend in Kwale town, Katembo said the company was putting measures in place to ensure water reservoirs within Kinango district store adequate water to address the shortage. The shortage has hit Makinnon road, Taru, Samburu, Maji ya Chumvi areas along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway which rely on the main Mzima pipeline for water unlike Matuga and Msambweni that benefit from the Marere pipeline. "The shortage is expected this time round especially with the biting drought which has not spared Taita-Taveta County where Mzima springs, the source, are located," said Katembo.

Katembo pledged to fix the shortage by today saying he had already deployed a team of experts to the ground to ensure that water storage mechanisms are in place to address the hitch. Should the shortage persist, it will threaten the survival of several high schools located within the affected areas including Mackinnon Road, Taru, Samburu, Kinagoni, Vigurungani and Mwavumbo High Schools.

The shortage is a double tragedy for the residents of the semi-arid area who have been relying on relief food supplies following the failure of rains. Unlike other areas of Kwale county like Matuga and Msambweni districts which have several rivers flowing, Kinango is dry and has no streams at all. The water hitch comes barely a month after a similar problem occurred within Kwale and its environs that forced residents to draw water from Marere River about eight kilometers away.

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