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NMS to supply water at 50 cents per jerrican

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWS) are set to introduce a water token system in Nairobi’s Mukuru slums that will enable a 20-litre jerrican retail at 50 cents.

Already, 10 stations that will utilize the system have been established at strategic points across the sprawling informal settlement with Mukuru kwa Reuben residents set to be the first beneficiaries of the project.

NMS Deputy Director for Water and Sanitation Stephen Githinji says the project, when implemented, will enhance access to clean water at an affordable price to the low-income area residents.

He explained that with this system, residents will only be required to purchase water tokens depending on the amount of water they require.

Once the tokens have been bought, the same will be swiped into machines at the already set up water stations or points for one to get the commodity depending on the amount keyed in.

“Once residents are given the chip, they will insert it into a gadget at the water stations which will automatically release the amount of water the resident requested for,” said Mr. Githinji.

Nairobi has experienced water challenges for years and in 2017, a water rationing program began in the city with individuals from the slums bearing the heaviest burden of this crisis.

Water demand in Nairobi has grown to more than 810, 000 cubic meters daily against an installed production capacity of 525, 600 cubic meters.

Water vendors have cashed on the crisis to sell water at exorbitant prices with a 20-litre jerrican going for as high as between Sh20 and Sh50.

The water stations are connected to Nairobi Water and NMS for remote monitoring and supervision by their officers.

“With the water token system, we don’t need many people to man the station. Only one officer will be in charge to serve the consumers,” he said.

Mukuru slums hosts almost half a million people and is divided into five areas including Kwa Njenga, Kwa Reuben, Fuata Nyayo, Pipeline and Viwandani.

The residents have had to make long queues to access free water distributed daily by NMS with one million litres of water supplied across city informal settlements every day using 42 water bowsers.