Residents of Shompole ward in Kajiado West Sub County have decried an acute water shortage that has hit the area.
The residents lament that their woes in searching for the precious commodity have been further exacerbated by the presence of wild animals in the area which also quench their thirst in the seasonal Ewaso Nyiro river that they now depend on.
Though Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd, distributes water to the residents according to a schedule agreed on with the community leaders, the residents lament that the schedule takes too long hence the water supply does not last long enough.
“Since the month of April last year, Tata Chemicals distributes water to the four group ranches in the area, 21 schools and 7 dispensaries but it isn’t enough as it takes a whole month for the water bowser to distribute water again in a given area,” said Joyce Kitente, a resident in the area.
They are therefore forced to supplement the water supply with water from the Ewaso Nyiro river, a journey which they say is not only tedious and time consuming but also dangerous.
“As we try to fetch water in the Ewaso Nyiro river, the hippos in the water attack us during the day and we cannot also fetch during the night as the elephants are roaming the area,” lamented another resident, Elizabeth Mereso.
Mereso adds that the hyenas and elephants also attack their donkeys which they use to fetch water leaving them hopeless as the distance to the river is long.
“We cannot easily spot the hippos and elephants as we trek to the river due to the mathenge bushes which have invaded the area. We want the Kenya Wildlife Service to provide rangers to man all the water sources in the area to prevent cases of human wildlife conflict,” laments Beatrice Mokoi, another resident.
The residents add that the Ewaso Nyiro river is also drying up thus they are forced to draw water from the natural sand dams in the river which further endangers their lives due to the presence of hippos.
Residents further want both the county and national governments to build them dams that will end the perennial water shortage in the area.
“We are also urging the government to expand the intake pipelines of Oliborto and Sampu to Oloika area as it will be easily accessible to us since it is near and the road is clear,” said Mokoi.
In February this year, a hippo was speared to death by the area residents after it killed a man and critically injured another at a water point in the area.
By Diana Meneto