The Evolving Water Crisis

Giachong'e residents in a demo
  In an earlier blog post, I posited that a water crisis that will one day spark a vicious battle for this resource was in the making. Earlier in 2017, we saw residents of places like Giachong’e village demonstrating demanding equitable distribution of this precious commodity when they marched to the office of the then Dundori ward member of county assembly. No solution was offered, other than the building of high capacity tanks which left sceptics wondering where excess water to fill them was to be sourced from.

  When the taps are perennially dry, does it make sense to have ten concrete tanks littered all over the ward which are increasingly looking like ghost projects? At the time of their construction, were pipes bursting under pressure necessitating their need?

  On the day of writing this, Friday, 29th December, 2017, there was witnessed another demonstration by the residents of the said village, who threatened to cut water flow on some parts and direct it down their places, on what they alleged is biased distribution. This would not have made any sense, for, to begin with, only few (and very few) places are currently getting piped water.

  A personal assistant to the current MCA tells me the onus of the blame lies with the office bearers of the Wanyororo Water Project. Whoever is the current chair and the board members are a big let down, and owe the disgruntled villagers an explanation or two. However, another school of thought is pointing the finger of blame at the Wanyororo Farmers Co. Ltd over the mismanagement of the resources. It is no surprise that much of the communal land, that covers even the wetlands, disappeared under their watch.

  Talk has it that much of the land on Kirima, where peasants have farmed minuscule plots for years, is being put up for sale to a private developer by this cartel like group. When you look to the west and see that houses have been constructed to the edge of Menengai Crater, oblivious of the danger, it won’t be long when much of Kirima will similarly sell like hot commodity and be dotted by shiny house roofs of gullible land buyers.

  Someone tells me the solution to the water problems lies with the pipes in place. They are old, are frequent to bursting and leaking, and needs an overhaul.

  Why is it hard to have boreholes sunk on each of the five sub-locations that make up the Dundori ward?  This would be a step in the right direction, as the current water problem has never been resolved for decades since the late 1980s.

  Does it require rocket science to address the water issue? We had a leader who is a JKUAT graduate and failed us at critical of the moment. Does it need one to be that learned when a form four school leaver solved the water issues in Engashura ward making it a thing of the past? Or when an alumni of Moi Ndeffo connected several homes with piped water from NAWASCO?

  Forget that lofty promise that was once peddled of constructing a water treatment plant at one of the three Wanyororo dams and piping the same to the residents. When the Dawani/Wanyororo River is on a death knell and the rain patterns are more erratic, it defies logic to sink finances in such a colossal project when drilling boreholes is the alternative.



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