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Athi Water Services Board: The Master Plan for Developing New Water Sources for Nairobi City and 13 Satellite Towns

The Master Plan for developing new water sources for Nairobi City and Satellite Towns has been inpreparation in the last two years with support from World Bank and AFD. It has now been completed and was officially launched by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Right Honourable Eng. Dr.RailaAmoloOdinga on 18th September 2012, confirming the commitment and priority of Government to fully address the water supply challenges faced in the Nairobi Metro Region. The plan provides least cost development options to be implemented in five phases between 2012 and 2030 to ensure adequate supply of safe water to Nairobi city and Satellite Towns up to the year 2035

1. A 25 year water supply infrastructure investment blueprint for Nairobi and 13 satellite towns

The Water Supply Master Plan provides a blue print for investing in water supply infrastructure to fulfilthe short, medium and long term water demand for Nairobi Cityand 13 Satellite Towns including Kikuyu, Ruiru-Juja, Kiambu, Karuri, Githunguri, Mavoko, Ngong, OngataRongai (incl. Kiserian), Thika,Gatundu, Limuru, Tala and Kangundo. The USD 1.9Binfrastructure investment Master Plan provides aleast cost water supply infrastructure development options that are sequenced to incrementally meet Vision 2030 targets and beyond (up to the year 2035). The Master Plan builds on earlier engineering studies and hasbeen developed on the basis of new data and knowledge, good science, soundengineering, economics (using least cost analysis), and environmental and social impact analysis.

2. Addressing a growing water supply infrastructure deficit

The population within the entire AthiWSB area (Nairobi and Kiambu Counties, and Gatanga Districtin Muranga County) is now estimated at 6.1m (urban 4.9m, rural 1.2m) projected to rise to 13.4m by the year 2035. Nairobi City has grown over the last 100 years from a settlement of 25km2 to the current city of 684km2with an estimated 3.5m (2012) projected to rise to 6.4m people by 2035. Investments in watersupply infrastructure have lagged behind since the completion of the 3rd Nairobi Water Supply Projectin 1994 to the level where the water demand in the Nairobi Metropolitan area now far outstrip supply. At the moment approx. 65% of the city population receive safe and adequate water. The remaining 35%are either under-served or receive no service. The water supply deficit for the Nairobi Envelop (Fig. 1)is currently 170,000m3/day (or about 23% of the current demand). This deficit will rise to 280,000m3/day (33% of demand) and 970,000m3/day (63% of demand) by 2017 and 2035 respectively if watersupply expansion as proposed by this blue print is not implemented.

3. The Nairobi Metropolitan Area is a high economic and political priority of the Government

The City contributes over 50% of National GDP and is a recognized regional center for trade and economicintegration in East Africa. The Government has therefore assigned a high political priority to fulfilling the water demand in Nairobi and satellite towns in order to establish a world class metropolis and spursocio economic development.

Furthermore access to safe water in adequate quantities is now a fundamentalhuman right enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya. Against this background, the Ministry of Water andIrrigation, through the Athi Water Services Board, and with the support of the World Bank and the FrenchDevelopment Agency (AFD) carried out The Feasibility Study and Master Plan for Developing New Water Sources for Nairobi and 13 Satellite Towns,a blue print to meet the 2035 water demand.

4. The overall goalof the Master Plan is to develop pragmatic, practical and cost effective solutions using diverse water sources to ensure safe, sustainable and reliable water supply

The water supply master plan addresses the short, medium and long term development needs for the City andSatellite towns to fulfil water demand, and further defines a priority strategy to meet the 2017 water demand(Fig. 2).The overall goal is to ensure reliability and security of water supply for Nairobi and Satellite Townsthrough:optimal use of the existing facilities; an increase of surface water storage sources; diversification of water sources (surface water, groundwater, rainwater harvesting); development of local or mixed water supply systems for Satellite Towns; and reduction of physical water losses along the system (intakes, transmission pipes, treatment works and distribution schemes).

5. Water sources and water demand projections

The main source for water supply for Nairobi is the Eastern Aberdare Rivers within the protectedAberdare Conservation Area (ACA) which includes the AberdareNational Park and the gazetted ForestReserves that surround the National Park. The total water supplied to Nairobi City and Satellite Towns isat the moment 580,000m3/day against a demand of 750,00m3/day. This demand is projected to increase to 860,000m3/day by 2017 and 1.2Mm3/day by 2035, requiring large and sustained investments in expandingwater supply to meet the growing water needs.

6. A systematic and structured approach used to prepare the blueprint

The preparation of the master plan involved reviewing various water supply options (scenarios) through a step wise and structured process. Each scenario was examined first for technical soundness. Next, an economic analysis was carried out to identify the least cost option, establish the financial costs and economic benefits for each scenario. In addition, environmental and social impacts were analysed. Finally, a multicriteria analysis was carried out to rank and determine the optimal options for meeting the 2035 demands for Nairobi and Satellite Towns (Figs. 3 and 4).

Some of the Satellite Towns are located within the vicinity ofNairobi City (Nairobi Envelope, Fig. 1) and are considered part of Greater Nairobi and combined with the Nairobi’s Water Demand. Other Satellite Towns located further away (Tala, Kangundo, Thika, Limuru and Mavoko)will need separate independent systems to meet their present and future water demands.

7. Stakeholders consultation. preparation of a plan of this magnitude requires input of key stakeholders.

This plan has been prepared through consultation with the key stakeholders to ensure that the developments proposed do not unduly impact other water users and sectors. The 1stmainconsultative workshop (2009) defined the goals, objectives and process of developing the water supply MasterPlan, the 2nd(2011)discussedthe options proposed for Nairobi Cityonly (Fig. 5) while the 3rd provided a dialogue platform to present, discuss and sanction the preferred water supply development options for bothNairobi City and 13 satellite towns (Fig. 6), and launch the Master Plan. Stakeholders for the consultationscomprised representation from host communities/ institutions, GoK Ministries, Agencies, DevelopmentPartners, Civil Society and Water Services Providers.

8. A Pragmatic Master Plan - Investment for phases 1 & 2 have been secured

The total capital investment cost for the blue print (Nairobi City and Satellite Towns) is USD 1.9B(Kshs 162B) until 2035 – USD 1B (Kshs 85B) for Nairobi city and USD 900m (KShs77B) forSatellite Towns.Implementation of the 1stand 2ndPhase of the blue print has commenced with the 4th Nairobi water supply project that will inject an additional 120,000m3/day from surface water sources and explore ground water potential at Ruiruand Kiunyuwell fields estimated to yield an additional65,000m3/day.

This project will be implemented together with independent systems for satellite towns and rural/host communities within the catchment areas, and upgrading of the distribution system within Nairobi city. Financing for the initial investments have been secured from:the World Bank (USD 186m, WASSIP AF); AFD (Euros 100m); Joint AFD/KfW(under negotiation to upgrade city distribution); and KfW(under negotiation for satellite towns).Discussions with the World Bank are also underway to secure additional investments under theWater Security and Climate Resilience project.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2