Nairobi water merchants are making a kill as taps remain dry

Water trucks in Nairobi

By The Weekly Vision Team

Residents of Nairobi, estimated at nearly 5 million souls are probably the most oppressed consumers of public services anywhere in the world. It does not matter whether it rains or not, water is simply not available.

In contrast huge privately owned water trucks never run out of water for distribution, at a fee of course. Unlike the city fire brigade that frequently runs out of water, privately owned water merchants are making easy money from hard-pressed residents who have no choice but to buy the water.

According to a survey conducted by The Weekly Vision, Nairobi’s densely populated slums need a steady flow of water to survive in a clean environment but that remains a mirage

Notorious suburbs include Kibra, Kangemi, Shauri Moyo, Jericho, Buru Buru, Umoja 1 and 2, Kayole and Komarock. Others are Dandora, Huruma and Mathare. These estates according to a survey conducted by The Weekly Vision are densely populated and need a steady flow of water to survive in a clean environment but that remains a mirage.
A city resident said it was curious that most residents remain in a “permanent drought” yet water merchants always have the basic commodity “Where do they get it from?” Provision for safe drinking water is among President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 agenda, but the agenda seems to have been frustrated by “water cartels.”

This truck was seen with pipes flowing down into a sewer to collect water which is then sold to unsuspecting clients


We must stop this culture once and for all” says another resident who has challenged the water minister to explain the perennial shortage that only comes once a week for a few hours, why can’t the water be available daily when the dams are bursting?
There is a need to quickly dismantle water cartels by making sure water flows in the taps daily not erratically like it’s happening today in Donholm and other areas within Nairobi where taps are permanently dry. Water merchants claim residents of Donholm are ‘chummed”.

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