Old Town residents protest lack of water
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
By Michael Maluta
Residents of the historic Old Town in Mombasa are decrying the systemic water shortage in the area which has lasted two months now, as the water provider banks on Sh18 billion Mwache dam to solve the problem.
The construction of the Mwache dam in Kwale County was unveiled by the Head of State last week. It is set to be completed in August 2026. The project will supply more than 230 million litres of water daily for irrigation and domestic consumption.
Old Town residents staged a protest at the Mombasa Water Supply and Sanitation Company (MOWASSCO) offices; they wanted the company to address the perennial water problem in their vicinity.
Addressing the press in Mombasa chairman of the Old Town Residence Association Mbwana Abdallah said illegal water connection is hindering them from getting enough water in their homes.
Hussein Shatri, a resident of Old Town stated that they should be highly considered since unlike the other parts of Mombasa where borehole water is less saline, conversely, Old Town drilled water is saline making them rely on water supply from MOWASCO.
The residents are forced to dig deeper in their pockets to purchase the scarce commodity at exorbitant prices from water vendors. MOWASCO imposed water rationing in Old Town, the residents want an effective water supply on their scheduled days.
In response to the grievances, MOWASSCO has assured the Old Town residents that they are striving to address the existing water shortage during this long rainy season.
MOWASSCO Engineer Timothy Mugo has urged the citizen to report any illegal water connection for action to be taken against employees who aid and abet the vice.
Mugo said Mombasa is sourcing water from the neighboring counties of Taita Taveta, Kilifi, and Kwale making the county the end user of all the bulk supply in the region stating that the water supply is not adequate for other water companies too.
“The projected demand for this year is 200,000 cubic meters per day and the supply we are getting from our sources is between 30,000 to 35,000 cubic meters daily which is very low,” said Mugo
He added that MOWASSCO is endeavoring to implement water rationing to the residents though it has been a thorny issue since they lack specific lines from the reservoirs to Mombasa Island.
To curb water theft through illegal connections the County Government of Mombasa is implementing smart water metering by installing intelligent systems that enable the County to monitor how and where water is consumed and provided to the citizenry.