11 Jul 2009

Nairobi water being stolen

7:46 am on 11 July 2009

A syndicate has been discovered stealing water in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to irrigate farms.

Nairobi City Council says nearly half the capital's water was being diverted by dealers working with water department officials.

There has been widespread rationing across the capital in recent weeks. Residents in BuruBuru, a suburb in the east of the city, have had no water for three weeks.

A 20-litre jerry can of water sells for between 50 - 100 Kenyan shillings ($US1.30).

Earlier in the week, the board of the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company was sacked for mismanagement.

The BBC reports the water shortage is compounded by low water levels in Ndakaini Dam, which supplies the city with water. Three of the four rivers that flow from the Aberdare forest to feed the Ndakaini Dam have dried up.

The dam has a capacity of 70 million cubic metres but it is now down to 26 million cubic metres.

The annual rainy season is expected in September and October.