The Looming Water Crisis
For long, water supply was adequate, until recently when it became erratic. To say the rains have been good and the rivers are once again flowing is to deceive ourselves. Not until when you realize the trickle flowing into the pipes do you begin to see the big picture. There is actually no water! When rationing is currently at January levels, where in some places water flows once in a week, and for a limited time, it is inevitable to say a crisis is looming.
Granted, the rivers are flowing. But river like the Dawani (Wanyororo) is at its lowest ebb in years. The dams are far from their former glory, shallow with silt, with little holding capacity, that it takes little time to dry up on lean seasons.
And whenever it rains, surface run off water flows for days on end on our roads. Why is there no wisdom in channelling this water to the river, as most of it flows all the way to Lake Nakuru?
But what of the clean piped water? Why is it that following a rainy spell, some of peasants still purchases this vital commodity from places like Kwa Muhia farm?
When at the beginning of 2017 residents of places like Giachong’e village were holding demonstrations protesting over what they called the unequal distribution of this resource, then this serves as an indictment we are staring at a crisis.
At the time the former ward representative was constructing high capacity water tanks, it would have been expected the pipes were bursting under pressure necessitating the need of these tanks. I don’t know where excess water was anticipated to come from, or if the leader had the foresight and was redressing the anticipated water crisis, but the tanks are here to stay!
If the current MP and MCA were to take a trip to places like Kathemboni, Kataloni, Kathayoni, Mutituni, among others in Machakos County, I’m sure they will have something to learn from success stories of said places. For starters, many of those places are dry, godforsaken semi-arid areas with residents used to trekking long distances to look for water. But today, this narrative has changed. Water is no longer the issue. Machakos County government made it a priority to redress the problem once and for all. Treated water from Athi River flows daily like slick oil in Arabian Desert while here getting piped water all year around is a dream!
By the way, who vouched the idea of constructing a water treatment plant at one of Wanyororo dams? Is this idea still feasible or was it just political hectoring?
When we destroyed our forest cover, exposing water catchment areas, and expected nature to replenish itself, we were downright wrong! When we keep seeing water bowsers cruising the village roads, as commercial vendors cash in selling what we would have flowing to our doorsteps, something is really wrong!
Can the situation be remedied or shall we contend with failed leadership?