Nairobi is expected to endure a significant decrease in water supply until the end of May after floods washed away one of the city's principal water sources in the Gakoe forest in Gatundu, 80 km north of the capital.
Part of the main pipeline from Sasumua dam was swept away on 8 May, cutting off the water supply to western and southern parts of the city, affecting Karen, Westlands, Gigiri, University of Nairobi, Lavington, Kawangware, Upperhill, Kenyatta National Hospital, Dagoretti Corner, Ngong Road and the department of defence.
The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) said that it would ensure these areas receive an emergency water supply for 36 hours every week, and advised all residents to use water sparingly.
However the NCWSC will be unable to provide piped water to other districts that are normally supplied solely from the Sasumua line. The company has mobilised water tankers in Kitisuru, Loresho, Spring Valley, Lower Kabete, Gigiri, New Muthaiga, Roselyne, Nyali, Kenya Institute of Administration, University of Nairobi Lower and Upper Kabete campus, the International School and surrounding areas.
The affected line supplies Nairobi with some 48,000 cubic metres daily, roughly ten per cent of the city's total production capacity.
Sasumua Dam is the second largest in Kenya, supplying two thirds of the water to the Kabete reservoir in Nairobi's western suburbs, from where it is distributed to the city.