Wananchi in Migori have decried the low water connectivity in the County and called on Migori Water Services Company (Miwasco) to fast-track the distribution of the commodity in the area.
Most affected are homes and estates in urban areas, government institutions and private entities that for years have remained disconnected from existing giant water plants in the region.
Complaining about the dismal water distribution services in the area yesterday, residents led by civil servants in Migori town, termed as unfortunate the two percent water connectivity in the town alone, saying it has gravely affected people’s living standards and general sanitation.
“With the mandate of supplying water from huge sources that have gobbled billions of shillings from the state and development partners, Miwasco has failed miserably to make water reach every part of Migori contrary to the comprehensive plans of connecting every household in the town to the main water supply,” said Dr. David Onyango, a resident in the town.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum in Awendo town that was attended by senior water officials from the devolved government, Dr. Onyango who runs a private clinic in the town demanded that the water company ups its game.
“It is unfortunate that Migori County as a whole boasts only 18 per cent of piped water despite having three giant water treatment plants that were constructed to address the perennial water shortages in urban and peri-urban locations in this region,” said Mr. Chacha Maheri, a businessman in Isebania town.
Migori water treatment plant constructed at over Sh1 billion, Isebania water treatment plant and the Awendo water treatment plant, are three huge water sources that currently hold millions of litres of water in their reservoirs all the time, but the same does not reach the local population as effectively as it would have been.
However, while speaking at a meeting of the local county development, implementation and coordinating committee (CDICC) recently, Miwasco managing Director Mr. Titus Oluoch, said they were doing everything to improve waters services in the region.
According to Oluoch, the company had recently secured Sh250 million and Sh120 million for Migori and Isebania water supply projects respectively and added the funds would be used to carry out a massive water connectivity and distribution within the projects’ coverage areas.
Mr. Oluoch said the work done under the “Last Mile Connectivity Project’ was expected to translate to higher revenues for the Water Company.
Apart from low connectivity of water to consumers, the company was finding it hard paying workers and electricity bills because of low revenue collection from water services offered from the two projects.
“We are only collecting about Sh1 million per month against an electricity bill of Sh3 million consumed within the same period,” he told the committee.
Oluoch also said the problems faced by the company would only be addressed through working on a new water tariff that would favour both the company and consumers besides registering more customers.
“We also pray that Kenya Power offers us a special waiver by pegging our billings to a lower tariff that is manageable by the company,” he added.
Because of low revenue collections, the water company finds it difficult even purchasing chlorine to treat water, hence the poor distribution of water in the region, according to the County Executive Committee (CEC) member Ms. Rebecca Ghati.
But participants at yesterday’s forum said they suspect a fraudulent business among the owners of the many water bowsers now operating within the County, County government workers and Miwasco staff to sabotage smooth distributions of water in the area for their own benefit.
“We are doing expansions on our lines and soon water distribution will be up-scaled to satisfy all customers,” Oluoch assured during the meeting.