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Car wash joints affected as crack down on water joints intensifies in Nairobi

Nairobians have been hit hard by the ongoing crackdown on illegal water points in the capital.

The majority are now forced to walk with jerricans in search of water.

This follows an announcement of the crackdown by the county government aimed at reducing non-revenue water estimated at Sh10 billion annually.

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The 100-day rapid results initiative (RRI) which started in February 2023 will be undertaken across the country.

According to water Principal Secretary, Paul Rono, more than 800 illegal water points have been disconnected and at least 40 suspects arrested in Nairobi in the ongoing operation.

On Friday, 500 illegal water connections were disconnected in Kibera and Lang’ata estates.

In Mathare North, the operation has rendered hundreds jobless.

Those offering carwash services are now stranded with many youths forced to sit idly.

On the other hand, the operation has also reached Huruma Estate.

The exercise, which started Friday morning, was temporarily disrupted after some youths started pelting security officers with stones.

However, the protesters were overpowered, paving the way for the drive to proceed.

The crackdown dubbed Lipa Maji, Tunza Maji started on February 16, 2023.

Rono said Lang’ata and its environs have not been getting water due to illegal connections.

The PS said illegal connections have deprived water to around 5,000 households in Ngei.

He said half of the 560,000 cubic metres of water supplied to the city is unaccounted for.

“Every drop counts. We have to ensure there is proper usage and payments are fully made,” he said.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja also sent a warning to perpetrators of illegal connection of water in Nairobi County.

The governor said the county is losing a lot of water due to illegal connections where the beneficiaries are stealing water and selling it to the residents.

“They are connecting car washes; they are running water bowsers around the town. That one we will not allow. MPs, OCS, politicians, this one we can’t tolerate theft of water. They are supposed to go to those who are willing to pay,” Governor Sakaja said.

As the population grows, water demand also increases.

Climate change, population growth, urbanization, water pollution, and poor management of water resources have aggravated the issue of the water crisis, which affects economic activities, food security, education, and health