Mystery of a half empty Ndakaini dam despite heavy rains


File photo of Ndakaini Dam. PHOTO| COURTESY
File photo of Ndakaini Dam. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Despite the heavy rains that have pounded the country for more than a month, the Ndakaini dam, one of Nairobi’s main water supply towers, has no water.
  • Officials say the dam lacks a reservoir to harvest water and residents will have to put up with water rationing until next year.
  • However, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage company anticipates light at the end of the tunnel, hoping that when the construction of the northern water collector tunnel in Murang’a County will be complete in December 2019.

Despite the heavy rains that have pounded the country for more than a month, the Ndakaini Dam, one of Nairobi’s main water supply towers, has no water.

Officials say the dam lacks a reservoir to harvest water and residents will have to put up with water rationing until next year

For more than a year now, Nairobi residents have had to contend with dry taps, with water vendors making a kill out of the misery of residents.

In areas such as Kasarani, Kayole and Donholm residents have no option but to buy water at approximately Ksh.20 per 20 litre jerican

One would have expected the long rains to bring residents’ woes to an end but water levels at Ndakaini dam is just at 30 per cent

“We want to save because we do not know how the rains will be. We have been told the rains will be near normal so near normal means we will not get to normal. So we need to save the water so that we can be able to handle the months when there will be no rain,” said Eng. Lucy Njambi, the acting Technical Director Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company.

The Ndakaini dam is complemented by other water sources including the Chania River and Ngethu dams, whose capacity cannot meet the city’s water demand that stands at about 932,000 cubic metres per day.

However, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company anticipates light at the end of the tunnel, hoping that when the construction of the northern water collector tunnel in Murang’a County will be complete in December 2019.

The Ksh.6.8 billion project will boost water supply to the city by about  140,000 cubic metres. Until then, the water rationing nightmare will continue to be a reality for residents of Nairobi.

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Story By Laura Otieno
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