Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Mombasa 's water sector crying for investment

During my shot hop to Mombasa last week, I confronted a problem that confronts every resident of the city- dry taps. So to freshen up, I bought a 1.5 litre bottle of bottled water and did some dry bathing.

I wonder how many of you convert significant quantities of drinking water for bathing. 

Back to my experience, so I used 1.5 litres of bottled water to freshen up. Now Mombasa last week was quite hot-and so was Nairobi. Therefore one really needed quite a dip to freshen up.
So I did something similar to a bath and rushed to my appointment. At the tail end of the appointment I mentioned to my host how scarcity water is a serious issue in Mombasa. That comment opened the taps to the following story. My host, a relatively well informed Mombasan, said:

“Demand for water in Mombasa is 18 million litres a day. Currently, its capacity is only 5 million litres a day, which is less than a third of the total demand. To make matter worse, even this quantity never reaches the town.”

Much of the water distribution system to Mombasa is old and rotten. This means that even this little quantity of water also gets lost on the way due to leakages. In Effect, about three or four million litres of water reach Mombasa every day. That is a drop in the ocean.

My source continued. It is not all gloom for the city. The old system is now being replaced so that even the little quantity produced reaches the consumers. After that the authorities will have to work on expanding the supply to meet demand. That, my host said, is the reason why there is a major shortage of water in the city. The old pipes are being ripped off and being replaced with new ones.

My efforts to raise the coast water Authority for comment were fruitless. However, this is a business opportunity crying for investors. Mombasa is crying for a PPP in the water and sewerage sector. Any takers out there? see http://eaers.blogspot.com/2012/03/Africa-high-return-ppp-market-of.html

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