Challenges and prospects for sustainable water supply for Kajiado town, Kajiado County
Mukindia, Josphat Mutuma
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Kajiado town, the County headquarters for Kajiado County which is classified as semi-arid area, lacks adequate water supply systems. The town had a projected population of 16,003 in 2013 (KNBS, 2010) but no functional municipal water supply system. There is no permanent river near the town and the town has a formation with poor aquifer such that even bore holes have low water yields. Water is sold at an exorbitant price given that a twenty (20) litre jerry can cost on average K.shs 10 which translates to K.shs 500 per m3 compared to Water Services Regulatory Board tariff of K.shs 35 per m3. The objectives of this study was to review the Policy, Legal and Institutional framework for water supply in Kenya, evaluate the existing water supply systems in the town, establish the water demand and opportunities for a sustainable water supply such as an integrated water supply plan for Kajiado Town. There was an apparent lack of statutory way of prioritizing allocation of water resources as evidenced by diversion of water from Norturesh – Athi River – Kajiado pipeline for irrigation even when domestic demand has not been met. It was established that Olekejuado Water and Sewerage Company has a weak technical and resource capacity to meet the water demand for the town which is estimated to be 1387.76m3/day in 2014 and is projected to be 1460.77m3/day, 1959.96m3/day and 2783.62m3/day in 2016, 2026 and 2036. Both national and county government need to put in place water policies and legislations to guide and accelerate water supply services. A reservoir can be constructed along Olekejuado River to harvest surface run off like the case of Maruba dam in Machakos County. Further exploration of ground water needs to be carried out and establish locations with potential for high yielding bore holes which can be developed to supplement harvesting surface run off.