WATER SUPPLY ASSESSMENT IN KILIFI COUNTY

Abstract
Water is crucial not only for sustaining life but also for socio-economic development of a
country. Yet its availability in the right quality and quantity at the required time and space
remains a great challenge. The distribution of water and its use is one of the leading causes
of conflict both at local or regional levels. In fact, with climate change water is poised to be
the most fought over natural resource of our times. Currently, good resource management
practices like the Integrated Water Resources Management Approach (IWRM) adopted by
the Kenyan government demand participation of users including communities in the
decision making processes concerning the resource. Kilifi County experiences 5-6 months
of continuous dry weather and in some instances years of continuous dry periods. Most of
rainwater is discharged to the Indian Ocean through the numerous intermittent streams
within the area. Currently, majority of the inhabitants of the district depend on food rations
and perform no economic activities because of the harsh climatic conditions. The aims of
this study were to investigate the water supply situation and assess its strengths, as well as
highlight its downfalls and suggest appropriate counter measures to ensure that the

residence of the study area receive sufficient and safe water supplies. This study will be
conducted using a mix of methods i.e., simple tests (water quality), door to door interviews
with residents, administering questionnaire to the water providers.
The study found that Kilifi County receives water supply mainly from KIMAWASCO
which has been mandated by the coast water service board to provide water for not only
kilifi but also, kaloleni, Ganze and Rabai districts. The water is withdrawn from the river by
8 boreholes drilled along the river banks by a process called the parallel drilling yielding up
to 96000m3 /day which can‘t possibly meet the demand of both Kilifi County and Mombasa
municipality. This leads to acute shortages especially during dry season when the only
reliable source of water is but the Baricho water supply. During the rainy season people
have ponds to supplement the little they have from the system. The current withdrawals are
sustainable since Sabaki is perennial and thus making replenishment of source all year long,
demand is always higher than supply (questionnaire)

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Abstract
Water is crucial not only for sustaining life but also for socio-economic development of a
country. Yet its availability in the right quality and quantity at the required time and space
remains a great challenge. The distribution of water and its use is one of the leading causes
of conflict both at local or regional levels. In fact, with climate change water is poised to be
the most fought over natural resource of our times. Currently, good resource management
practices like the Integrated Water Resources Management Approach (IWRM) adopted by
the Kenyan government demand participation of users including communities in the
decision making processes concerning the resource. Kilifi County experiences 5-6 months
of continuous dry weather and in some instances years of continuous dry periods. Most of
rainwater is discharged to the Indian Ocean through the numerous intermittent streams
within the area. Currently, majority of the inhabitants of the district depend on food rations
and perform no economic activities because of the harsh climatic conditions. The aims of
this study were to investigate the water supply situation and assess its strengths, as well as
highlight its downfalls and suggest appropriate counter measures to ensure that the
residence of the study area receive sufficient and safe water supplies. This study will be
conducted using a mix of methods i.e., simple tests (water quality), door to door interviews
with residents, administering questionnaire to the water providers.
The study found that Kilifi County receives water supply mainly from KIMAWASCO
which has been mandated by the coast water service board to provide water for not only
kilifi but also, kaloleni, Ganze and Rabai districts. The water is withdrawn from the river by
8 boreholes drilled along the river banks by a process called the parallel drilling yielding up
to 96000m3 /day which can‘t possibly meet the demand of both Kilifi County and Mombasa
municipality. This leads to acute shortages especially during dry season when the only
reliable source of water is but the Baricho water supply. During the rainy season people
have ponds to supplement the little they have from the system. The current withdrawals are
sustainable since Sabaki is perennial and thus making replenishment of source all year long,
demand is always higher than supply (questionnaire)
Other perennial sources of water include wells and boreholes which are done at a local level
individually but their water is classified as blackish since it‘s a little salty and hard
compared to tap water but less hard and saline than ocean water. The water is chlorinated
before released to the public water tests are done on a daily basis, residual chlorine test,
bacterial tests and chemical tests.(questionnaire)
Baricho 2, Rare dam and Mwache water projects are in preliminary stages of construction
to meet the water deficit, they should be up in 10yrs time and upgraded system to cater for
the increased water supply.(questionnaire)
There is a lot of unbilled water so as to maintain the cost of tap water at low levels to the
normal citizen. Tariff system used is the increased block tariff which is reviewed twice a
year by WASREB (questionnaire)

 

 

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