Worry as 'Bathroom of God' runs dry

Kericho Water and Sanitation Company (Kewasco) Managing Director (MD) Joseph Terer at the Timbilil water treatment plant.. Photo: Nikko Tanui

The Kericho Water and Sanitation Company (Kewasco) has introduced rationing in an unprecedented move to conserve water.

The company has also launched an aggressive crackdown on illegal water connections and started cutting off water supply to car washes in Kericho town and its environs.

This effectively ends Kericho's reputation as "the bathroom of god", earned for its rich rain forests and gurgling streams.

According to Kewasco Managing Director Joseph Terer, water levels in the region have been on a steady decline over the years.

"Climate change has destabilised our operations. We produce less than three million litres against a demand of six million litres per day," he said.

Mr Terer blamed the drastic reduction of water at Kewasco's Timbilil water treatment plant on wanton destruction of water catchment areas in Kuresoi North constituency.

"River Timbilil, which cuts through Mau Forest, is fed mainly by 39 water springs located in settlement schemes in Kuresoi where farming activities and wanton destruction of forests is going on in earnest," he said.

The result is that the water treatment plant now receives 2.5 million litres per day, down from 10 million litres per day when the plant was established.

"This is a record low in the history of Kewasco. Timbilil River is drying up, forcing us to apply water rationing measures on our consumers," said Terer.

He warned if the destruction of water springs in Kuresoi North and Mau Forest continued, the water catchment areas would be destroyed for eternity in the next five years.

The firm requires at least 6 million litres of water daily to meet the demands of 130,000 clients. As things stand, it can only supply Kericho town during the day and residential estates at night.

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