The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has raised the alarm over the number of boreholes in Nairobi’s Eastleigh.

Mr Mario Kainga, the Chief Officer, Water, Sanitation and Energy at NMS said the situation was worrying as the underground water was depleting. Though the number of boreholes in the estate remains unknown, it emerged that many clandestine water points had been sunk in the area. Mr Kainga made the remarks during celebrations to mark World Water Day on 22nd March 2022. The theme for this year event was “Groundwater, making the invisible visible”.
“What we lack in Nairobi is consolidated and comprehensive data on the status of groundwater, on which level we are and the effects we have on whether we are depleting the aquifer or not,” said Mr Kainga. He added: “But what we need to notice is by seeing the level of drilling. Going deeper in terms of drilling is an indicator that groundwater is being depleted.”

Kainga said in Eastleigh there were those complying and getting approvals from the relevant authorities like National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and Water Resources and Management Authority (WARMA) while the majority did not. “Going forward we are going to strengthen enforcement so that law takes its course so that people get approvals to dig boreholes,” he said.
Mr Kainga said NMS had dug 193 boreholes since it took over some functions from the county government and that 15 more were in the process of being dug.

He said NMS had also put forward a draft policy paper on water management and also had a draft Bill and regulation that would help manage and guide water supply within the city.

According to Mr Kainga, Nairobi has a water demand of 830,000 cubic metres per day, with only 525,000 cubic metres of that supplied per day. He said 40 per cent of that was lost through nonrevenue water, adding that groundwater played a critical role, especially supplementing the deficit, especially in informal settlements, contributing to less than 200,000 cubic metres.

Mr Kainga requested the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help NMS in mapping out the available water boreholes and put the information in the Geographic Information System.

NEMA deputy head of marine and wetlands Mr. Isaac Elmi encouraged city residents to report any kind of environmental degradation activities they spot.
“It’s unfortunate that corruption has increased so much so that even government officers are falling into temptations of accepting bribes to allow construction of houses, factories along riparian lands, thus affecting the flow of rivers and dirtying water which is useful downstream,” he said.

He said the destruction of wetlands, which are storage tanks of the country, has also caused lack of water to many major towns. The lack of sufficient sewage system, he said has also worsened the situation