Kisumu braces for water rationing as key sources dry up

Residents of Reru village in Seme East, Kisumu County, fetch water at a stream as shortage bites. PHOTO | FILE
Residents of Reru village in Seme East, Kisumu County, fetch water at a stream as shortage bites. PHOTO | FILE 

Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (Kiwasco) is set to begin rationing water in parts of Kisumu in efforts to manage a prolonged dry spell that has hit the country.

Kiwasco managing director David Onyango on Thursday said the affected areas are mostly those served by Kibos River whose water levels have reduced by 67 per cent.

“We get water from two sources — Kibos River and Lake Victoria. Whereas areas where the lake supplies are okay, those relying on Kibos should begin to cut back their water use following the long dry spell experienced in the country due to inadequate rainfall last year,” he said in a statement.

He said as the drought persists, they could introduce water rationing programme to the affected areas including Kanyamendha, Otonglo, Tiengre, Uzima, Jans Academy, Mamboleo market, Alango Gari, Guba Rarieda and Nyamasaria.

Mr Onyango said the company had put in place mechanisms to manage the low supply and urged the residents to equip themselves with adequate water storage capacity.

“These areas are expected to have intermittent supply during this period,” said the official.

If the rationing is effected, it will affect a majority of Kisumu residents and institutions such as schools.

“Some of the water saving tips our customers can adapt are to check all faucets, pipes and toilets for leaks, installing water saving showerheads and low-flush toilets, taking short showers and rinsing vegetables in dishes in a pan instead of running water,” said Mr Onyango.

The dry spell has also affected other western Kenya counties including, Homa Bay, Siaya, and Kakamega with several families staring at starvation.

The shortage has forced Kisumu residents to travel for long distances in search of water as major rivers such as Nyando, Kuja, Awach and Miriu have begun to dry up due to the effects of the drought.