Athi River
Disqus
EPZA
Export Processing Zone
FILE
JavaScript
Joseph Lenku
Kajiado
Kajiado County
Kapiti
Kitengela
Kitengela Township
Mary Seneta
Mavoko Sub County
Milimani
Nairobi
Nairobi Water Company
New Valley
Norkopir
Titus Muthee

Water vendors make a killing in Kitengela

An artificial water shortage continues in Kitengela Township in Kajiado County and its environs, as unscrupulous water vendors mint millions to the chagrin of thirsty locals. Residents have been grappling with water scarcity for the last one year. The problem has, however, escalated during this Christmas season.Salty borehole water vendors have their fair share of the market, but fresh water vendors from Nairobi have taken the dusty town by storm.

Residents have been grappling with water scarcity for the last one year. FILE PHOTO | NMG

An artificial water shortage continues in Kitengela Township in Kajiado County and its environs, as unscrupulous water vendors mint millions to the chagrin of thirsty locals. Residents have been grappling with water scarcity for the last one year. The problem has, however, escalated during this Christmas season.Salty borehole water vendors have their fair share of the market, but fresh water vendors from Nairobi have taken the dusty town by storm. Water tankers from Nairobi are all over Kitengela Township, making a killing from hawking the much-needed commodity.Vendors from Nairobi have taken advantage of the Export Processing Zone (EPZA)’s water rationing for the past six months to mint millions.EPZA in Mavoko Sub-County sources water from Nairobi Water Company and sells to Athi River and Kitengela residents.A 5,000-litre fresh water tanker costs Sh6,000 while 10,000 litres is charged at Sh9,000. The cost goes high depending on the residential area.Ironically, these fresh water vendors claim to buy water from Nairobi Water Company outlets, the same firm that is said to be rationing the commodity to EPZA.

The tankers are said to be owned by powerful persons. Each can make more than five trips, earning more than Sh30,000 for 5,000 litres and Sh45,000 for 10,000 litres tanker.They cover 26 kilometres from Nairobi to Kitengela and regardless of the transport cost, make a tidy profit.Some unscrupulous water vendors are said work in cahoots with some officials from water firms to make business.“The water scarcity is being artificially orchestrated by unscrupulous vendors and the water firms. A need has been created and a supply established for few people to benefit,” said Mr Titus Muthee, a Kitengela resident.The most affected residential estates, include New Valley, Milimani, Norkopir and part of Kapiti. Residents, who can’t afford to buy fresh water, are forced to trek long distances in search of salty water from private boreholes.Nominated Senator Mary Seneta also said that the current water crisis in Kitengela was being artificially created by powerful cartels.“Cartels working in cahoots with water company officials have taken over the water business in Kitengela. Water business is now for the rich and powerful. Instead of coming up with a permanent solution, they are rationing water to create bigger market for fresh water and exploit local residents to the last coin,” Ms Seneta added.Meanwhile, the Kajiado County government has established a water board mandated to come up with a water policy to streamline supply in the entire county.Recently, Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku said the county government would regulate salty borehole water supply.

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