Lamu — A water crisis has hit Ndau Island in Lamu East constituency for the past two weeks following a breakdown of the desalination plant that was installed late last year, forcing residents to resort to using untreated salty water from boreholes.
This comes in the wake of the Lamu Water Supply Company spending Sh 264 million in last year’s financial year’s County budget to improve fresh water access across the county.
The current administration county government has assured that in the wake of the hyped ‘mai mekoni’ initiative, it would resolve the persistent water crisis especially in Lamu east.
Lamu Residents interviewed however stated that alternative sources of water from the boreholes was unsafe for human use.”
We have resorted to getting fresh water from Kiunga which also has its own set of water scarcity problems with the breakdown of the Kiunga desalination plant as well,” Athman Mohammed, a Ndau resident intimated.
He further stated that relatives from Kiunga are the ones who fetch fresh water from the Northern Rangeland Trust (NRT) water kiosk, with jericans that are then ferried to their Ndau relatives.
Mohammed Radi, another resident said the crisis has gotten so bad that children are dropping out of school to assist their parents fetch water from the salty water boreholes in Belebele area that are the only source of potable water within the Island.
“Water scarcity is a reality here in Ndau and despite assurances by Lamu Water and Sewerage Company (LAWASCO) that the needed spare parts for the desalination plant will come, we continue to suffer with no adequate rains in sight to alleviate the situation,” he stated.
A Safaricom engineer, Daniel Murungi, shared similar sentiments and stated that every house has to make do with fetching two jerricans of the water from Belebele every day.
“The situation is difficult, because an Island with a population of 3,000 people has been forced to depend on seven wells which are all salty except for one,” Murungi said
LAWASCO CEO Paul Wainaina on his part sought to reassure residents that the county government was working towards replacing the defective parts of the desalination plant adding that spare parts were already being sought in Mombasa from Davis and Shirtliff Water Company.
He assured Ndau residents that water woes affecting the archipelago had already been addressed with the county government having already invested with a desalination plant.