Kericho County in the old Rift Valley region has been referred to as ‘Bathroom of God’ for the heavy rainfall that it receives, as well as the huge number of water bodies that has supplied the region with water.
Water shortage has remained an anonymous phrase for residents of the county that is well known for the tea it produces, but things seems to have changed after the Kericho Water and Sanitation Company (Kewasco) announced a rationing in an unprecedented move to conserve water.
The company said that it is experiencing shortages and have embarked on a mission to crackdown on illegal water connections as well cutting off water supply to car washes in Kericho town and its environs. The move effectively brings to an end the County’s reputation as "the bathroom of god", earned for its rich rain forests and gurgling streams.
Kewasco Managing Director Joseph Terer, revealed that water levels in entire region have been on a steady decline over the years and the county risks running out of water should they not take enough measures.
"Climate change has destabilized our operations. We produce less than three million liters against a demand of six million liters per day," he said.
He added, "River Timbilil, which cuts through Mau Forest, is fed mainly by 39 water springs located in settlement schemes in Kuresoi where farming activities and wanton destruction of forests is going on in earnest.”
The water management body disclosed that it is now receiving 2.5 million liters per day, down from 10 million liters per day when the plant was established.
"This is a record low in the history of Kewasco. Timbilil River is drying up, forcing us to apply water rationing measures on our consumers," said Terer. He warned that if water springs in Kuresoi North and Mau Forest continued, the water catchment areas would be destroyed for eternity in the next five years.