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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid