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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs