All buildings in rural and urban areas in Kajiado County, including Kitengela, will be required to have water harvesting and storage equipment.
The law under Kajiado Water Harvesting Bill adopted by the county assembly and signed into law by Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku requires those who intend to build residential and commercial buildings to seek approval of water harvesting facilities.
The county experiences perennial water shortages as population surges due to rural-urban migration.
A 20-litre jerrican of freshwater costs between Sh40- 50 while salty water sells at Sh20
A national government project that promised to sell water at Sh3 remain a pipe dream.
Cash minting local water vendors ferry freshwater from Nairobi estates to Kitengela’s middle-class estates.
Completion certificates will be issued to building owners who comply with the new regulations.
The county government said it would fund resident associations, schools, hospitals and charities to build rainwater harvesting structures.
The existing buildings have 18 months to comply while upcoming structures have three months. Developers seeking building approvals are also required to obtain water harvesting permits.
Nominated MCA Onesmus Ngogoyo tabled the private member’s Bill in county assembly in 2018.
“Private and government dug boreholes are drying up in our urban centres at an alarming rate. Water shortage in the entire county is alarming considering the erratic climate changes. Rainwater harvesting ought to be the only option,” said the second term MCA.
Mr Ngogoyo said most residents grapple with water shortage even during the rainy seasons with the water going to waste.
Mr Lenku said, when he assented to the Bill, the new law offers a solution to the persistent water shortages.
“Let’s all county leaders unite to find home grown solutions to myriad challenges facing our vast county. Our county assembly has a role to come up with transformative legislation,” he said.
However, residents want the new law to be implemented fairly to eliminate water cartels that have been holding residents hostage for years.
“The law must not be implemented in a huff to hurt building owners. Let the county ensure the law is not hijacked by water cartels for selfish gains,’’ said Davis Odhiambo, a Kitengela resident.