Is Nairobi Tap Water Safe to Drink? (2019)

Safe to drink?No
Passed the WHO International Standard?No
The estimated price of bottled water in USD(1.5-liter)$1.21

Tap water in Nairobi, Kenya is not safe to drink without filtering or boiling the raw water. The government claim that water is safe. County water supplies water in many parts of Kenya. Most of this water may not have the purity levels required to protect you from stomach infections consistently. The quality of the water supply is usually inconsistent with the rainy season having the water with the most contamination.

Nairobi Tap Water
Nairobi, Kenya

Water and Sanitation in Nairobi face a problem that is common to a developing country that proliferates. The water supply is unable to meet fast-rising demand. Water is unstable even to the small majority who have a direct connection to tapped water. Different areas of the city receive water on specific days of the week, some for a few days and others for just a few hours.

There is currently around a 25% shortfall in supply to Nairobi homes, according to the city’s water provider. Also vital issues over the quality of the piped water, particularly in the city’s informal arrangements. Water from drains or sewage can seep into the supply due to the deterioration of pipes, and much of it is undrinkable, according to the World Health Organization.

Source of Water in Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi tap water’s primary source of water is from surface water and groundwater. The Nairobi water utility relies exclusively on surface water to satisfy the growing city’s water needs. Service receives 94% of its water from the Tana River basin north of the town through three reservoirs:

  • Sasumua Dam (on the Chania River)
  • Thika Dam
  • Chania-B Dam

The Thika Dam is the largest, providing 225,000 m3/day. Water from the reservoirs is treated in two treatment plants, including the largest one in Ngethu. The remaining 6% originates from local sources:

  • Kikuyu Springs
  • Ruiru Dam

Both found in the Athi River Basin and whose water is managed in two smaller treatment plants. The spillway of the Sasumua Dam has been severely damaged during the 2003 El Nino floods. The weir was restored between 2009 and 2011 with financing from the French Development Agency.

The groundwater table has failed; in one well, it fell by 40 meters between 1958 and 1996. The standard depth of new wells in 2001 was 238 meters. In that year, 97 new wells were drilled because of a drought. Most wells are produced by industrial enterprises, hotels, farms for flower production in greenhouses, and private houses in parts of the city that receive an only intermittent supply. Groundwater is also used to water gardens and to supply tankers that resell the water. Many individual well owners are also related to the mains water supply system and use groundwater as a back-up supply. Natural groundwater quality is excellent.

Some of the Local Convenience Stores in Nairobi

Tuskys Convenience store
Tuskys
  • My Shop
  • Oil Libya
  • Bonjour
  • Astrol
  • Vilies Shopping
  • Tuskys
  • Pantry & Provisions
  • Valencia Square
  • Onn The Way Supermarket
  • The Corner Shop
  • Stop & Shop
  • Eastmatt Supermarket
  • Karen Provision Stores
  • Carrefour

Estimated Price of Bottled Water

VolumeKESUSDEURGBP
1.5-liter123.38$1.21€1.10£0.95

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