Lamu Island has been hit with biting water shortage, hindering residents from carrying out crucial activities during the holy month of Ramadhan.
The Muslim faithful in the region now want the county government to urgently restore the water supply which is essential especially during the evening after breaking the fast.
Many households within the Island have stayed without water for over ten days in a raw as some are forced to rely on open wells and boreholes to source for the commodity, which is not safe for use.
Areas hardest hit by the acute water shortage include Bombay, Kashmir, Kandahar, India, Gadeni, Bajuri, Langoni, Mkomani and Wiyoni.
The situation is similar at Hindi-Magogoni, Kwasasi, Milimani, Basuba, Mararani, Mokowe, Siyu and Witu villages.
Residents are now at a loss as most wells and boreholes that they depend on dried up with some turning saline, making it unusable.
At Hindi-Magogoni village, more than 200 families are using a single well to source water.
To avoid the abnormal long queues, residents, especially women and children are sometimes forced to camp at the well throughout the night just to get a can of water.
At the neighbouring Kwasasi Village, residents are forced to hire motorbikes to transport water all the way from Hindi Town, which is tens of kilometres away.
A 20-litre jerrican of water is being sold for as high as Sh50.
Lamu Water and Sewerage Company (LAWASCO) Managing Director, Kimani Wainaina asked residents to brace for serious water rationing and shortages during this period of drought that has left many water reservoirs drying up in the region.
Lamu’s entire fresh water supply comes from a host of wells situated inside sand dunes located in Shella area within Lamu island.
Following a persistent drought season that has hit the region since January this year, water levels at the dunes have hit rock bottom hence affecting production and supply.
Mr Wainaina advised residents to limit water consumption and wastage by switching off toilet cisterns among other things.
“There is a reduced water supply all over Lamu since the drought began and from the look of things, the shortage isn’t going away any time soon. Let us utilize well the little water we have,” said Mr Wainaina.
He said plans were also underway to set up a water desalination plant at Hindi-Magogoni starting June this year.
“We have advertised tenders for the same. We will be doing some evaluations next week. I believed by June this year, work will have started,” said Mr Wainaina.