Travelling along the Magadi road in Kajiado West constituency, one can’t fail to notice the blue water drums pitched at strategic places along the road.
The water drums are placed by residents in the hope that well-wishers and travelers to Lake Magadi will provide them with the much sought after commodity that has become scarce in the area.
“At every stage along Naserian to Lake Magadi, we have placed the water drums hoping that well-wishers can contribute even a little of the precious commodity to save us as we have no other source of water,” says Everlyne Nairesiai, a resident in the area.
She says that they have to sit by the roadside waiting for well-wishers to provide them water, adding that they sometimes wait patiently for as long as a week, but end up without luck.
Nairesiai laments that this has affected their day-to-day activities such as house chores, since getting water for domestic use has become a major task.
“Cows are dying due to lack of water and fatigue as they have to trek for several kilometers to get water. The community is also undergoing immense suffering due to lack of drinking water,” says Simon Kuyioni, who is the assistant chief for Esonorua division.
Kuyioni adds that the situation is so dire that even donkeys, usually the beast of burden are now tired of the long treks in search of water.
He says the community usually gets water from Tata Chemicals, Magadi and supplements it with rain water, a situation which is not possible now given the ongoing drought.
“We usually get water from Tata Chemicals, which has one Bowser that serves the whole division. Given the drought situation, the water is not enough. We are urging both the national and county governments to provide us with water even if it is 20,000 litres per day,” said Kuyioni.
He notes that the community has five tanks in Oldonyio Onyokie, Naserian, Kamukuru, Esonorua and Tinka which can be used to store the water for community use.
Steven Lalamal from Oldonyio Onyokie Division says the situation is the same as there are no boreholes in the area and the rivers and dams they used to depend on for water supply have long dried up.
Lalamal is urging the government to drill solar powered boreholes in the area so that the perennial water shortage in the area is dealt with once and for all.
Moses Turere, a cleric who distributes water to the residents at a cost, says that his Enchorro water distribution company is willing to work with both the national and county governments to help local residents get access to water.
“The main challenge in Magadi is the source of water as the aquifers are very salty especially along the Magadi road corridor. The levels of fluoride in the water can’t be treated. As a company, we have enough capacity to respond to the water crisis and are ready to partner with both the national and county governments to bring the solution to the Magadi people,” said Turere.
Along with providing relief food and livestock pellets, the National Drought Management Authority has recently provided water trucking to 30 primary schools in Kajiado West among them Mopia, Olepolos, Naretoi and Elang’ata Wuas primary schools.
By Diana Meneto