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

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora