Kitengela residents decry water shortage as cartels take over

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 3 Aug, 2023 11:08 | 2 mins read
Kitengela residents decry water shortage as cartels take over
Residents queuing for water in Kitengela. PHOTO/Christine Musa

Residents of Kitengela, Kajiado County are grappling with an acute water shortage as cartels take the lucrative water vending business by storm.

Clean water now sells at between Ksh30-50 while salty water sells at between Ksh10-20 in the populous dusty town that was elevated to a municipality last year.

The water shortage is evident by the high number of rooming water kiosks, deserted water points, busy water bowsers, donkeys carrying jerricans of water, hand carts, tens of empty jerricans and long queues at water points.

The much-hyped national government water project launched in 2019 now remains a white elephant. The fresh Ksh3 water for a 20-litre jerrican is now past.

The 8 kiosks built by the county government to the tune of Ksh 20 million to supply the water now remain closed, dusty and deserted. The clean water was piped from Nairobi water but lasted for only months. The main water kiosk is now reduced to a Mitumba clothes shop.

Residents expressing disappointment by both national and county governments.

Agitated residents question why the clean water was disconnected and water browsers instead fetch the water from the same source(Nairobi water) and sell it to locals at exorbitant prices.

"As Kitengela residents, we are incurring high costs in water. Water is a goldmine here because it is expensive and not readily available. It is disappointing to have a municipal town without water. The national and county government invested millions in a non-existing water project. Those involved should be accountable and take responsibility for duping an entire population about an essential commodity," Alex Musyoka a resident said.

They claim the clean water supplied using water browsers is controlled by a cartel of untouchable businessmen.

"We are also concerned and worried about the cleanness of the water we are purchasing. Nobody can account for the source of the water being hawked. The water cleanness can be compromised and cause harm to users," Ann Njiraini, another resident in Kitengela said.

The Export Processing Zone Authority (Epza) was the sole supplier of piped metered clean water utilized in Kitengela until the government banned the industrial export from engaging in the water business in 2019. The piping infrastructure belongs to the industrial company.

There is also a shortage of salty water after numerous boreholes dried up during the recent prolonged drought.

Residents now appeal to the concerned stakeholders to intervene in quenching their thirst.

Related Topics