The Heat Is Online

One Million In Nairobi Face Water Shortages

Floods leave Nairobi dry

Up to a million residents of Nairobi face water shortages after floods damage dam, May 5, 2003

A council official says that the taps are expected to run dry for up to two weeks before the Sasumua Dam can be repaired.

Some 28 people, including an MP, have drowned in the floods which have left thousands homeless in the past two weeks.

The destruction of forests in the Aberdare region has increased the flow of water into the dam, says the general manager of Nairobi's water department, Lawrence Musyoka.

"Following forest destruction, the dam fills faster than designed. It is high time to take another look at it," he told the Daily Nation newspaper.

The dam was built some 50 years ago and supplies much of the water consumed in Nairobi.

Schools closed

The Daily Nation reports that State House could be affected by the water shortages.

"We are determined to ensure that Nairobi residents get running water as soon as possible," Mr Musyoka said.

He thought it would take between 10 days and two weeks to repair the damage.

James Mutiso, the MP for Yatta constituency for the ruling National Rainbow Coalition, and two other people drowned last week after trying to drive across the Tinganga river in the southern Machakos district.

Western Kenya has been worst affected by the floods.

Some 20 schools in the region did not open for the new school term on Monday due to rainwater, which left many of them submerged.

"Over 15,000 people have been displaced, schools in low-lying areas have been submerged, several roads have been cut off, most of them in western Kenya," Kenya Red Cross Society spokesman Antony Mwangi told the French news agency, AFP.