23 May 2012

Kenya: Sh60 Billion Water Project for Coast

The government is in talks with several development partners over the possible funding of a Sh60 billion water project at the Coast. The project, dubbed Mzima 2, will supply fresh water to residents of Voi, Mariakani, Mazeras, Taru and other parts of west Coast, including Mombasa.

"Demand for water in Mombasa has become so high. That is why we have to increase our capacity," said Coast Water Services Board chairman Anthony Mrima.

Director of water services Peter Mangit said the government has for a long time not invested in water infrastructure leading to a low supplies of the essential commodity especially at the Coast.

The region generally receives about 67,000 cubic metres of piped water daily against a demand of about about 150,000 cubic metres.

At the moment, the Baricho waterworks station which supplies water to Malindi, Kilifi and parts of Mombasa has been shut down for three days to allow for installation of additional six electrical water pumps.

The shut down will is expected to cause water shortage up to Thursday. This is the final phase of the rehabilitation works that has been going on for months now. "This is expected to enhance the supply to about 90,000 cubic metres daily," said Mrima.

A parallel pipeline from Baricho will soon be installed as the board has already secured additional funding from the World Bank, said Mangit. "Once completed the second pipeline and other rehabilitation works and new installation will increase the water supply to volumes of about 70-80 per cent," said Mangit.

Meanwhile, Mikindani residents have complained about the lack of piped water. They said there complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Residents formed the Ganahola Community Self Help Group with which they used to pipe water into their homes. But they claim the water management in the area has not been supplying them with water.

Changamwe area water manager Jeremiah Kisilu declined to comment on the issue saying he is not allowed to speak to the press. He however said the situation had been rectified after a burst on one of the Mzima pipelines had occurred. But the residents were not satisfied with the response.

"Yesterday (Monday) was our turn to get water but they said there is a problem at Mzima springs. Our question is, how come this disruption only affects our estate and our neighbours get water as usual?" posed the group's vice chairman Joel Musango.

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