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Water Resources Authority spearheads Nairobi Rivers Clean up initiative

Today the staff of Kisii Sub Basin Area office teamed up with other stakeholders in a clean up exercise of Nyakomisaro River. The exercise which was launched today will be carried out every Monday and will cover about 3km of the most polluted section through Kisii Town.

L-R WRA CEO Mohamed Shurie, Chairman Donald Murgor, PS Water Dr Kiprono Rono on an inspection progress visit of Nairobi Rivers Cleanup  initiative at Gatina, Nairobi.

Water Resources Authority spearheads Nairobi Rivers Clean up initiative

The Water Resources Authority (WRA) has announced its proactive role in monitoring and upholding water quality standards while enforcing pollution control measures for Nairobi’s rivers. The core focus of this initiative is to protect the invaluable water resources that the city depends upon. By spearheading these essential efforts, WRA is committed to safeguarding both the environment and the intricate river system that sustains Nairobi.

For years, Nairobi City County’s rivers and streams have served as open dumping grounds, not only in informal areas but also urban and peri urban regions due to the lack of efficient solid waste collection systems. This pervasive practice has led to severe pollution of these water bodies with plastics, solid waste, and liquid waste. The repercussions are dire – rivers become prone to flooding during the rainy season due to siltation and blockages from discarded debris, causing the riverbed to rise. This, in turn, creates a breeding ground for disease-carrying vectors, further compromising the delicate river ecosystem.

Through regular inspections and enforcement initiatives, WRA ensures that industries and individuals comply with the set standards, reducing the discharge of harmful pollutants into Nairobi’s rivers. Additionally, WRA collaborates with local communities and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of healthy ecosystems for aquatic life and encourages sustainable practices to further improve the water quality in the city.

However, despite these rigorous enforcement efforts, challenges persist. Insufficient treatment and illegal effluent discharge continue due to the mismanagement of household and industrial waste. Moreover, inadequate infrastructure maintenance by water service providers leads to overflows and sewage bursts. Catchment degradation, poor sanitation practices, ineffective solid waste management by county governments, and resistance from river users further complicate enforcement endeavors.

Mr. Mohamed Shurie, CEO of the Water Resources Authority, addressed these challenges, stating, “Given the magnitude of these obstacles, it’s clear that relying solely on one entity for solutions is impractical. Embracing integrated water resources management necessitates a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach involving all stakeholders. Our commitment to monitoring water quality and combatting pollution is not only crucial – it’s pivotal to our mission of securing a sustainable water future for our nation.”

In a decisive move to highlight the gravity of the issue, The Authority is undertaking a campaign to clean up the river. Additionally, tree-planting activities along the riverbanks will be undertaken. This initiative underscores the Authority’s unwavering dedication to tackling pollution and devising enduring solutions. By actively participating in on-the-ground assessments, WRA seeks to gather accurate data and pinpoint key areas for improvement. This proactive stance firmly underscores the Government commitment to ensuring clean and safe water resources for all citizens.

The Water Resources Authority (WRA),  is established under Section 11 of the Water Act, 2016 as an agent of the National Government for regulating the management and use of water resources. In discharging its mandate, WRA continuously monitors water quality and implements pollution control measures to mitigate the growing threats to Kenya’s limited freshwater resources.

The Nairobi River clean up is an initiative under the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation through the Water Resources Authority (WRA) currently on-going target on the entire Nairobi River stretch from Naivasha Rd to Athi River at Z-corner Juja Farm. 

So far 35KM stretch of the river has been covered in the clean up.

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