19 March 2019

Kenya: Coast Counties Hit By Water Shortage as Mzima Pipe Bursts

More than 500, 000 residents of Coast region are staring at a crisis after the Mzima pipeline which supplies them with water burst.

The looming water shortage follows a major burst of the pipe within Tsavo National Park in Taita Taveta County.

The water originates from Mzima springs within park.

The crisis has hit parts of Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa counties.

The affected counties have asked residents to brace themselves for tough times due to the interrupted distribution.

SECOND WEEK

Efforts by Coast Water Services Board (CWSB) to repair the pipeline have entered the second week and by Tuesday morning they were yet to finish restoring the pipeline.

Taita Taveta County Executive for Water Gasper Kabaka said they are working together with the water service board to ensure that the precious commodity is available as soon as possible.

"Engineers are working round the clock to restore the supply," he said.

The CEC said the pipeline suffered a second burst after they had repaired the first one that had occurred at Tsavo National Park.

"The repairs had been going on well only for the pipe to cave in due to high water pressure on Sunday night," he said.

Mr Kabaka said water supply is expected to resume on Wednesday.

HARDEST HIT

Schools, health centres and hotels in Voi town and its environs have been hardest hit by the crisis.

He said the county government will supply water to schools, hospitals and markets as it tries to ensure that normal supply resumes soon.

Three schools have already been closed due to the current water shortage.

Education officials warned that many schools in the county might be closed due to the crisis.

Some educational institutions in the county are not served by piped water and depend on boreholes and water bowsers.

The bowsers charge Sh8,000 per 10,000 litres of water which school managements say is very expensive.

WATER VENDORS

In Voi town, water vendors have taken advantage of the situation and are selling a 20-litre jerrican for Sh50.

Residents fear that there might be an outbreak of waterborne diseases as some vendors draw their water from untreated wells and boreholes.

To ease pressure on the Mzima One pipeline, the government is planning to build a Sh42 billion Mzima Two water project.

But the fate of the project remains unknown as the government is yet to allocate funds to start its implementation that was set to start two years ago.

If implemented, the new pipeline will alleviate the perennial water shortage in Taita Taveta before supplying Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa counties.

Kenya

William Ruto Charts His Own 2022 Election Course

Deputy President William Ruto is increasingly adopting a more assertive approach to his political campaigns as he takes… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2019 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.