Dry spells no more: Lang’ata NHC estate residents buy bowser to deal with problem

Water bowsers bought by Lang’ata NHC residents to curtail exploitation by water vendors

Residents of National Housing Corporation (NHC) estate in Lang’ata have had to find a way to ensure constant supply of water in their households.

For months, the residents have been grappling with water shortage, forcing them to buy the precious commodity from water vendors.

There are claims the shortage may have been artificially caused by Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company officials working in cahoots with water vendors to milk millions from them.

Jacob Ouma, a resident who spearheaded the formation of Multiple Traders Housing Corporation, a movement intended to fight exploitation of the 903 households, said each family on average spent Sh8,000 per month on water.

“Some households would go for over six months without water. We relied on vendors who sold it at Sh1,000 for 1,000 litres. This means vendors made over Sh7.2 million every month,” said Ouma.

The estate has 4,000 residents, but NHC has delayed sinking a borehole for 10 years, prompting the residents to seek their own solution.

“Two months ago, I suggested that we form our own cooperative, and 100 of them agreed to join hands,” Ouma told The Nairobian.

That is how Multiple Traders Housing Corporation was born and registered. Together, they raised Sh3 million to purchase a 10,000-litre bowser. The group sells water to shareholders for Sh350 per 1,000 litres and Sh650 for non-shareholders within NHC estate.

“We managed to cut the cost of water by 40 per cent. We can source the commodity from affordable borehole operators and supply it to NHC and other Lang’ata residents at reasonable prices,” said Ouma.

He added that, “The best way to break these cartels is by forming one, a cartel of consumers who will dictate how much they ought to spend on commodities or services.”