NMS sinks 25 boreholes in city since inception
The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has sunk 25 new boreholes since it was established in mid March to expand water and sanitation coverage and supply as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
NMS Director-General, Mohamed Badi says conditions of about 27 other existing boreholes have been upgraded either with new pipes or connected to electricity in order to ensure constant flow of water.
“Further in relation to the implementation of COVID-19 preventive measures in Nairobi’s informal settlements, critical areas without access to water have been identified especially in the informal settlements,” Badi indicated in a statement at a time it emerged that most of the 88 regulated Water Service Providers (WSPs) in the country were operating below their capacity.
Water Services Providers Association (WASPA) Chief Executive Officer, Antony Ambugo said that due to the economic effects of COVID-19 many customers are unable to service their bills promptly.
He said this means that water companies which can only raise around Sh510 million on a monthly basis, and in this case not able to prosecute their mandate at a time when all taps should have running water.
“To prosecute this function effectively, efficiently and sustainably, the 88 regulated water companies require Sh1.7 billion on monthly basis - which is raised through monies paid by consumers in form of water & sewerage bills,” he said.
Consequently, the Association has proposed a number of measures to be put in place to guarantee sustainability of services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Among what we have proposed is calling on the government to provide subsidies to the water companies for three months through purchase of chemicals - Approximately – Sh630 million to also cater for community water supplies; payment of electricity bills of approximately Sh1billion, out of which 250 million is to cater for community water supplies,” Ambugo said. Other suggestions include appealing for consideration of subsidies for personnel expenditure if the collection efficiency continues to dip.