Murang’a leaders to push for more water connections

Two Murang’a elected leaders want Athi Water Services Board to honour its promise and connect residents of the county with clean water for domestic use.

Governor Mwangi wa Iria and Gatanga MP Joseph Nduati have said the county is the main source of water supplied to Nairobi and its environs yet Murang’a residents lack water at their homes.

The leaders who were speaking during a fundraising ceremony at Nyaga secondary school in Gatanga, noted that the Board had promised to initiate various projects to connect thousands of local with clean water in return of construction of Northern water tunnel collector.

The tunnel whose construction started in 2015 and funded by the World Bank is expected to increase water intake at Ndakaini Dam, the main water source for Nairobi city.

Ndakaini dam, located in Gatanga constituency, the leaders said does not benefit locals in the area claiming the President had promised upon completion of the tunnel Murang’a residents will get connected with clean water.

The tunnel is meant to collect flood water from rivers Irati, Mathioya and Githigie though locals have expressed fears that it may cause the rivers to dry up in a few years.

Gatanga MP said the contractor working on the tunnel is almost through in putting up treatment plant that will see more water be pumped to Nairobi.

Nduati faulted the Board for failing to implement one of the water projects it had promised the locals.

The tunnel is almost complete but nothing has been done for our people and we wonder when our people will benefit, posed Nduati.

Majority of Gatanga residents, the legislator noted use water from boreholes saying those who live in lower parts of the constituency face a greater challenge of accessing clean water.

I will follow up and ensure Nairobi will not get more water before people of Murang’a get connect with clean water for domestic use, he asserted.

The Governor promised to ensure more than 70 percent of Murang’a gets clean piped water before the end of his term.

Local water companies, Wa Iria said were promised funding from the Athi water services board so as to increase water connections noting that the funding is yet to be implemented.

Wa Iria stressed that Murang’a County should get 25 percent of revenue realized by Nairobi county water.

There is a bill in senate seeking to ensure 25 percent of revenue realized from natural resources are retained within the local communities and we are working towards ensuring Murang’a gets these benefits from its water supplied to other counties, He said.

The governor observed that the county government is in a process of establishing one water company that will take charge of water services as the five local water companies become branches.

The ‘Maji Kwa Wote’ Company, he said, will be fully owned by the county government and will have the full participation of local leaders.

He said the company will help to reform the water sector and lower tariffs while ensuring every home is connected by 2022, and will also provide irrigation water to locals.

Source: Kenya News Agency