Kenya announces water rationing after power cuts : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

WIRE:07/11/2000 05:20:00 ET Kenya announces water rationing after power cuts

NAIROBI, July 11 (Reuters) - Authorities in the Kenyan capital have announced a sweeping water-rationing programme, adding to the woes of residents who already get only four hours of power a day. Newspapers quoted authorities as saying most residential areas of Nairobi would receive water only at night with effect from Tuesday.

The water rationing comes in the wake of a severe drought which has seen reservoirs and dams turn into dust bowls.

The drought has also been blamed for the power cuts, as the country relies almost exclusively on hydro-electricity for its power supplies.

The situation has been worsened by years of corruption and mismanagement by the Nairobi city council.

Even the most upmarket areas of the capital, home to hundreds of well-off expatriates and diplomats, now receive just four hours of power a day and water just twice a week.

This has led to a boomimg trade by generator suppliers and operators of water tankers.

"This isn"t a Third World country any more, it is a Fourth World one," said Pieter Ingmarson, a Swedish pilot who lives in upmarket Muthaiga.

The East African Standard and Nation newspaper quoted Nairobi Mayor John Ndirangu as saying the central business district -- home to dozens of company headquarters -- would have no daytime water supplies for the rest of the year.

The industrial area, airport zone and working class residential suburbs and slum areas will also only get water at night.

Middle-class and upmarket suburbs will get water from two 24-hour periods twice a week, the mayor was quoted as saying.

Ironically, Nairobi is headquarters of the United Nations urban planning department known as Habitat.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 11, 2000

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