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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Nairobi parched despite downpour
Nairobi children carrying water
Many residents are reduced to buying water in cans
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By the BBC's Muchiri Kioi
While rain is causing death and destruction in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, residents are struggling to find drinking water.

From the city's wealthiest estates to its sprawling slums, people are being forced to buy water as they watch the pouring rain literally go down the drain.

Flood in Nairobi
Nairobi is drowning in non-drinking water
Residents are frustrated because last year, following water shortages caused by drought, Mayor Dick Waweru asked people to bear with the city council.

The situation, he said, would improve if there was some rain.

So there were sighs of relief when the heavens opened three weeks ago.

But in fact the season of thirst had just begun.

Clogged pipes

The council sounded the alarm this week, saying rains had affected the water supply system.

According to water engineer Lawrence Musyoka, the daily supply of 410 million litres per day was 40% down by last Friday.

The reason, he said, was that mud has got into pipes bringing water to the city from nearby reservoirs.

Mr Musyoka said two teams of engineers were working around the clock trying to unblock the pipelines.

Residents welcomed the reports of engineers getting their hands dirty and scooping mud. But for many this won't wash.

People are still wondering why only a trickle of water is reaching a city that is being battered by rain.

See also:

08 Aug 01 | Africa
New Nairobi mayor
06 Aug 01 | Africa
Nairobi's mayor not up to job
18 Aug 00 | Africa
Nairobi's taps run dry
17 Jul 00 | Africa
Kenya's powercut chaos
05 Jul 00 | Africa
Kenya drought warning
14 Jun 01 | Africa
Kenya's undiplomatic big fight
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