Water Supply to Nairobi
NCWSC has stringent water quality control programs to ensure the water they supply the city is safe for drinking. From time to time however, we see media reports of some city residents complaining of getting contaminated tap water after a main pipe bursts in their locality. NCWSC seems unable to respond fast to such situations, until they sometimes get out of hand. For instance, over 10 fatalities from water borne diseases were experienced in Mukuru Kwa Njenga in 2009.
The earlier mentioned World Bank report indicated that borehole water in Nairobi has a higher fluoride content than recommended levels, exposing its long-time consumers to the problem of getting stained teeth.
Due to the sporadic incidents of unsafe tap water making its way to people’s homes, and the harzards of taking the borehole water, there is a general fear of drinking tap water among the middle class. Most will either boil and filter it before drinking, or buy bottled water. Water dispensers from the various mineral water vendors in Kenya are commonplace in the workplace. Unfortunately, this option is not available to the urban working class in Nairobi. The cost of mineral water is too high, forcing them to take their chances with tap water.