Kileleshwa Member of County Assembly (MCA), Rober Alai, on Friday, December 9, raised concerns over the consumption of Nairobi borehole water by city residents.
The county lawmaker encouraged Nairobi residents to reduce their intake of borehole water.
“We must reduce the consumption of the borehole water. Please guys,” he remarked.
“Nairobi water has very high chloride levels, in fact, it is ten times more than the recommended levels. Most of Nairobi residents are developing bone issues, others getting rusty teeth out of the contaminated water,” he told Kenyans.co.ke.
Undated image of water-selling trucks parked in Makadara estate, Nairobi.
“This is more compounded by the fact that the demand for water in Nairobi today is 900 million litres a day compared to the supply of 450 million litres, thus the threshold is not enough to get the water to sustainable levels,” he added.
Alai further argued that the matter escalated into the homes of city residents who complained of the same.
“As long as you are cooking or growing vegetables using borehole water, the fluoride is induced in your body via the food or the drinking water. I have met parents in my ward who have complained of the same,” he remarked.
On whether the county government planned to eradicate the matter, Alai informed that water was still under the national government and that they would need investment from the exchequer to fund the completion of the Northern Water collection tunnel.
“The project needs Ksh62 billion for completion but as a county, our hands are tied. We need funding from the exchequer to at least finish the collector tunnel to enable us to have adequate water for all city residents,” he stated.
“Also, the easiest solution is to have everyone in the city avoid the traction of drilling a borehole. We need to ensure there is enough water for everyone,” he added.
Henry Kabogo, the Chairman and Founder of the Water Bottlers Association, agreed with Alai on the issue of city residents being affected by the contaminated borehole water.
“Borehole water in Nairobi has a salty taste, which indicates the availability of iron and fluoride in the water,” he remarked.
Kabogo proposed the treatment of the water through a process he called “reverse osmosis”, where the water is sieved to reduce the concentration of iron and fluoride.
An image of a water refill shop.
Leo Fresh Water
He also challenged parliamentarians to remove the excise duty on bottled water and instead charge plastics.
“What is the rationale for charging excise duty on water instead of plastics? Which of the two has adverse effects on the environment? he wondered.
Kabogo decried the government closure and seizing of water ATM shop companies, stating that they are the solution to providing clean, purified water in estates.
“The government needs to look at the licencing of small companies purifying and distributing water, charging Ksh 550000 and Ksh 600000 as the licencing fee is punitive and renders the businesses insolvent, they should be fair and considerate,” he advised.
Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company was yet to respond to Alai and Kabogo’s claims.