Thousands of Kiambu and Muranga residents will have to stock up on enough water to avoid inconveniences following a decision made by a joint security committee on Thursday, December 15, to cut off the water supply after an oil spillage into river Chania.
The committee came to a unanimous decision after a petroleum tanker on Wednesday, December 14, was involved in an accident at the Chania bridge, causing it to spill undetermined volumes of petroleum products into the Chania river.
Thika Water and Sanitation Company (THIWASCO) released a statement on Wednesday, December 14, explaining the severance of water supply to its customers.
Affected Residents include those from Gatanga, Thika town, and Ithanga Kakuzi Sub counties who rely on River Chania for domestic water supply.
“There will be no water supply to all our customers within the THIWASCO service area. We will give the progress of the spillage control measures as the situation improves,” THIWASCO stated in a notice.
Image of an overturned oil tanker at River Chania bridge on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.
THIWASCO advised affected residents to preserve and use sparingly available water during the period as they sought possible solutions.
“We advise all our customers to reserve and use the available water sparingly during the period. We will restore the water supply once it is assessed that it is free from contamination” the notice added.
The notice stated that the water supply in Kiambu and Muranga areas would remain closed until the committee determined that the contamination is cleared.
THIWASCO Managing Director Mr. Moses Kinya, however, assured customers that the situation was under control adding that it was a disaster and some oil had gained access to the supply intake channel.
“We dug a large trench to prevent more fuel from spilling into the intake channel. We were able to keep the fuel in that trench while covering the one on the road with sand. We are now in command, and all that remains is to scoop it for proper disposal while we work to restore full water supply to our customers,” Kinya stated.
Mbogo Mathioya, Thika West Deputy County Commissioner, affirmed that measures were put in place to safeguard the health of the public.
“The situation is meant to ensure public health safety and will follow a rigorous cleansing exercise of the intakes and reservoirs” stated Mathioya
Nevertheless, Samuru Assistant County Commissioner in Gatanga, Teresiah Isaacs added that the decision arrived after it was ascertained that the fuel had gained flow into reservoirs supplying domestic users.
Isaacs stated that customers, who were not affected but were temporarily disconnected, would gain access to water by Thursday, December 15, while others would wait for reconnection.
“Those that were not affected in a major way were temporarily disconnected but by Thursday morning supply was back. Others not yet connected will have their case reviewed after the cleanup of their supply lines,” Isaacs ascertained.
Image of Part of River Chania in Murang’a County taken in December 2021.