News / Africa

Private Company Brings Fresh Water to Kenya Community

Large trucks transport clean water from the Nyamasaria Water Works in Kisumu, Kenya to customers (VOA/A. Khayesi)
Large trucks transport clean water from the Nyamasaria Water Works in Kisumu, Kenya to customers (VOA/A. Khayesi)

The engine from the Nyamasaria Water Works is pumping muddy water from the Kibos River.  It will be purified and stored until delivery to over 30,000 customers in the peri-urban district of Kisumu East. The company produces an average of 80,000 liters of water per day.
 
Access to clean and safe drinking water has been a scarce commodity to most people in Kisumu, Kenya, despite its location next to the world’s second largest fresh water lake, Lake Victoria.
 
Most people in the city can not verify the cleanliness of the water they purchase from vendors peddling water from handcarts. They deliver water in 20 liter plastic containers at the doorstep of their customers.

Nyamasaria Water Works in Kisumu, Kenya cleans water from the muddy Kibos River. (VOA/A. Khayesi)Nyamasaria Water Works in Kisumu, Kenya cleans water from the muddy Kibos River. (VOA/A. Khayesi)
x
Nyamasaria Water Works in Kisumu, Kenya cleans water from the muddy Kibos River. (VOA/A. Khayesi)
Nyamasaria Water Works in Kisumu, Kenya cleans water from the muddy Kibos River. (VOA/A. Khayesi)
Water delivery is usually the responsibility of the government.  But Nyamasaria Water Works is the country’s first privately-owned water company, and is often cited by consumers for its efficiency and dependability.  Development experts say there could be more non-governmental water pumping and cleansing stations if it were easier for private companies to get grants and loans. 
 
Nyamasaria started in 2002 as a small scale irrigation project for farming tomatoes by Elly Onyando Odhong, a banker, and his brother Bernard, a professional clinical health officer.  Within six years, it was providing clean water to households.  But Bernard Odhong says the plant is now facing some challenges:
 
"We’re experiencing interference problems with our piping network, " he explained, "from the construction of roads, power outages, by real estate developers and lack of funds for expansion. While awaiting the completion of the highway road, the company has purchased power generators and it’s appealing to donors for financial support to expand the pipes to further places."
 
In the past, residents consumed water from shallow wells, boreholes, rainfall, streams or swamps.  But today, households can access water from nearby points.
                                              
At one time,  many people did not want to settle in the area because of the lack of a sufficient water supply.  But business woman Jemima Akinyi Nyakano said that’s changed.
 
"The number of newcomers renting homes has increased since the water scarcity problem has been solved," she explained. "We no longer doubt hygiene and the source of domestic water."

Households with piped water, retailers, handcarts and trucks are served from 80,000 litre storage tanks.   The water is sold at a rate that most people can afford.
 
Joseph Otieno, the plant manager,  explained that piped households pay an average of $ US 3.60 monthly, while retailers pay US 25 cents for a 20-litre conainer.  Water hawkers pay US 43 cents for full handcart loaded with a dozen containers while 10,000 liter trucks pay $US 9.15.                                                                  
 
Tanker driver Nicholas Lihalwa delivers water to estates, hospitals, factories and social functions such as funerals, weddings and public ceremonies.
 
"The delivery charges depend on the distance from the source of water and if the lorry stays up to the end of the function." he said.  "Some domestic and industrial consumers have storage tanks at their premises but those hosting wedding, funeral, graduation, sports or church cerebrations may connect pipes and use the water direct from the lorry.  Here we charge extra amount of money."
 
Odhiambo said the plant is licensed by the Kisumu City public health department, and given permission to extract the river water by the Water Resources Management Authority.  The filtered product is tested and approved for consumption by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
 
The company manages its financial operations from the earnings it makes mostly from charging customers for water. The proceeds are used to purchase chemicals for purifying water and to pay the salaries of its employees.

​Development experts say it’s a role model for other entrepreneurs throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
 
Odhiambo said the company works in line with the goals of the United Nations and the government of Kenya to improve access to clean water

"Access to clean water is a goal of the Kenya’s national development program, Vision 2030, and also United Nations Millennium Development Goal Number Seven,  which calls for cutting in half by 2015 the number of people without sustainable access to water and basic sanitation, " he explained.
                                                                    
Due to accessibility to clean drinking water, there has been a reduction in water borne diseases in and around Kisumu East. Odhiambo says clean and safe water has reduced bilharzia, fever, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid. There have also been no reported cholera cases in the last five years in the area.

Listen to report on Nyamasaria Water Works in Kisumu, Kenya (by Ajanga Khayesi)
Listen to report on Nyamasaria Water Works in Kisumu, Kenya (by Ajanga Khayesi)i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid