Water rationing has begun in Nairobi as a result of the prolonged drought that is affecting much of the country. Consumption has been reduced from 483,000 to 266,000 cubic metres per day in an effort to slow falling water levels in the two main dams, Ndakaini and Sasumua, which supply the capital. Areas to the southwest of the Uhuru Highway, including the sprawling Kibera slum, will be the worst affected under the new regime, which came into effect on 10 February.

The aim is to guarantee water supplies to the citys around three million residents for the next seven to eight months. Announcing the schedule, managing director of Nairobi Water company Francis Mugo said that without the measures, Ndakaini could dry up in five months and Sasumua in two.

The failure of the 2005 October-November rains in Kenya has left an estimated 3.5 million people in need of emergency food assistance this year, particularly in the north and east of the country. The next rains are expected in March.

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