MCAs say commercial boreholes cause Nairobi water shortage

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Nairobi MCAs have blamed acute water shortage in the city on commercial borehole drillers who are said to collude with Nairobi Water Company to cause a shortage and make a killing out of the business on desperate residents.

Paul Kados, Mihango MCA Ward, who is also the chair of Nairobi County Assembly Water Committee, says that there are more than 3,000 commercial boreholes in the city and more being drilled each day.

“Most owners of these commercial boreholes are the cause of water shortage in Nairobi. I know a friend of mine who lives in Karen but has 20 boreholes in Kayole. He is making a killing there selling water by competing with Nairobi Water Company,” said MCA Kados.

“We do not need commercial boreholes where there are Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) pipes. In Mihang’o Ward alone, we have more than 200 boreholes,” he said.

Kware Ward MCA Rose Kula complained that in Nyagathugu area, each and every plot has a commercial borehole with the water drawn by vendors who in turn sell the water to residents at exorbitant prices.

The boreholes are also said to contain high fluoride levels, making it unfit for human consumption.

According to Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director Nahashon Muguna, commercial boreholes drilled in Eastlands have extremely high fluoride levels at over 15mm per litre against a required level of 0.5mm per litre.

Treating the water through reverse osmosis is also expensive.

“You can only know the quality of water after it has been tested. The drilling is done and water is drawn and taken for testing. This is why we have not taken over most of government drilled boreholes in the area as the water from them is of poor quality,” Muguna said.

MCAs want City Hall to conduct a survey and an audit of all boreholes in Nairobi and those found drilled in road reserves and along Nairobi Water Company water pipes closed.

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