Planning for Water Supply and Sanitation Services in Low Income Suburbs of Nairobi: A Case Study of Kawangware Location, Dagoretti Division, Nairobi.

Kawangware Location of Dagoretti Division is one of the low-income residential areas where about 60 percent of the people of Nairobi live. Before 1963, the Division of Dagoretti was under Kiambu District jurisdiction. As the colonial authorities prohibited African Local people to reside in the city unless they were employed. Indigenous people took the advantage that Dagoretti was a rural setting but near Nairobi and they massively came in. The City Council planning powers only covered the area within the city boundaries thus leaving out the rural periphery outside the official boundaries. Therefore, People settled in Dagoretti without any planning intervention at all supporting their livelihood.

In Kenya, the provision and management of infrastructure like Water Supply and Sanitation services are under the responsibility of the Government agencies. In Nairobi. Nairobi City Council (NCC) is in charge of managing those services. From 1963, the city boundary was extended to cover the entire division of Dagoretti. Thus formal Planning intervention by the city council was extended to cover Dagoretti Division.

In 1984, NCC assisted by European Economic Community (EEC), undertook the upgrading of slums project. Kawangware was one of the selected slums to implement the water supply and sewerage reticulation projects scheme. Because of the flat terrain of the area, the sewer system laid out was a combined sewer to drain both runoff and wastewater. The Water project covered almost 3A of the location while sewerage reticulation covered only % of the location. Despite that effort, the sewerage project was beneficial only to a small part of the area; and the facilities that have been set up are in a deplorable state because they lack proper maintenance.

This study set out to examine the system of water and Sanitation disposal in this Suburb of Nairobi, and come up with ways of improving those services. The analysis  of the sources of water of Nairobi's people found that water supply is adequate and enough to satisfy water demand for the entire city up to 2007 projection.

In Kawangware, the study revealed that among other water sources (i.e. rainwater, well, etc), Water provided by Nairobi City Council is the major source of water for the residents. However, most people were complaining that they only got water once or twice in a week. That lack of adequate water supply has had significant impact on sanitary conditions in the area.

Owing to the inadequate supply of water, the sanitation conditions of the area were very poor indeed. Sewerage got blocked and sewage was diverted into open surface drains that were obstructed due to poor urban management and the habits of local people. Residents mostly used pit latrines to dispose off their night soils. When they riled, exhausters or labourers emptied pits and exposed the excreta to the eye of contaminant agents.

After a critical analysis of the worsening water supply and sanitation situation, the study has recommended that the Government and public sectors should pay special attention to the protection of the Nairobi water catchment area of Aberdare Forest and enforce the development control powers of the City Council of Nairobi. The study has recommended further the need for a clear and strong partnership of the public, private and community effort in water supply and sanitation provision within the study area. The research has also recommended the construction of more storage water tanks in the location, the improved layout of sewerage system (in the entire location) to which both private and public toilets should be connected.

The construction of tanks, toilets and layout of sewerage reticulation would be beneficial to residents by increasing the capacity of water supply and the access to modern sanitary facilities, and indeed, create the healthy living environment urgently needed in the area. Furthermore, the project envisages that the implementation of the above mentioned policy strategies would eventually create increased job opportunities for the residents of the study area.

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