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Thika Residents Brace for Hard Times as Several Rivers, Boreholes Dry Up

As the drought season continues to bite, most of the water sources in Thika have almost dried up with the available ones getting overused leaving a huge population thirsty, a situation that has concerned the local water provider.

Thika Water and Sewerage Company (Thiwasco) Managing Director Moses Kinya confirmed that most of the rivers and boreholes have dried up with the water levels of the remaining ones dropping significantly.

He said they have resulted to supplying water using bowsers to residents of the most affected areas of Komo and Gatuanyaga to save them from the dire situation.

He said the water demand in the area has risen during this period overwhelming them.

Kinya attributes the drying of rivers downstream to massive irrigation activities upstream, where people have obstructed the rivers, channeling the waters to their farms.

He said through the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA), they were in talks with the irrigation farms to stop the obstruction of rivers.

“The situation in most of our rivers downstream is dire. Residents can no longer access water because the rivers have been obstructed by some people to irrigate their farms. This will not be entertained and we ask that they allow water to flow freely,” said Kinya.

He was speaking yesterday during the handover of a classroom that the company has constructed at Gatuanyaga primary school.

He at the same time said their water production capacity has dropped slightly as their main water source, the river Chania levels had dropped, though there was no cause to worry.

He called on residents to use water sparingly over this difficult period until the rains start.

“We don’t have much water because even the water levels at Chania River which we rely heavily on for production has dropped. Everyone needs to be efficient in their usage of water. Stop irrigating farms or doing other activities that have long term returns using water,” he said.

Thiwasco’s normal water production capacity is 36,000 cubic meters against a demand of about 60,000 cubic meters.

The MD said through their long-term project of tapping into the Kariminu 2 dam that was completed last year, they would be able to arrest the perennial water shortage and rationing programmes in the area.

The Sh24 billion dam, one of the government’s flagship projects in the Gatundu North Sub County, will also supply water to Juja, Ruiru, Nairobi and Thika. It will produce 70,000 cubic metres of water daily.

Another project, he said, is optimizing of the old rickety supply system at the main intake that was fixed decades ago to scale up production capacity.

“To increase access to water to the growing population, we need to completely overhaul the old system by replacing the old rusty pipes with new ones,” said Kinya.

By Muoki Charles

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