Residents to go without water for non payment of user fee

Consumers of Riamiatu Water project of Kabare Ward, Kirinyaga County have been disconnected from the supply for failure to pay Sh. 446,000 water user fee.

The fee which has accumulated since 2011 must be paid before any reconnection, according to the Water Resources Authority (WRA), which is a regulatory agent for the natural resource.

The body was formed after the new Water Act 2016 which repealed the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) established in 2002.

According to the Authority’s Sub-Regional Manager, James Maina, the project management Directors must pay the amount in full or in certain agreeable terms before the reconnection.

We were forced to take the punitive measures after the 11 Directors of the project defied our orders issued in September last year to pay the water user fee which ran into arrears amounting to Sh 446,000 since 2011, he said.

Following the move 18,000 households which depend on the project have been left without water and they, include schools, dispensaries and families.

Late last year, a new team led by Arthur Kinyua as its Chairman was elected and took over from the previous committee which ran the project since 2013.

Following the disconnection, families have resorted into fetching water from the nearby rivers and streams while schools are using oxcarts to draw the commodity.

A consumer Mary Wanjiru from Gatunguru village blamed the directors for taking over a project they have no capacity to manage.

If we have 18,000 households and each pays only Sh. 60 per month then the Sh. 2,600 the Authority charges per month is peanut and I blame the project management for its poor governance on the situation we are now in,Wanjiru claimed.

Kinyua said he was convening a crisis meeting on Friday to address the matter but asked the consumers to ensure they paid their dues immediately.

Source: Kenya News Agency