By Linet Minayo.
Kajiado governor Joseph Lenku has collapsed all the water services companies and transformed into one to be headed by former Kenya Airway boss Titus Naikuni.
Naikuni, a mechanical engineer by profession, has been charged with turning around water provision system that had allegedly collapsed due to mismanagement lased with irredeemable corruption.
Lenku announced that the new company, Kajiado Water and Sewerage Company has been charged to improve water access in region from the current 35 per cent to 60 per cent in the next three years.
“By appointing this new board, I look forward to their implementation of a sustainable water access strategy,” said Lenku.
In a press release, Lenku said for years the county remains classified as an acute water scarcity region due to its low access to the crucial commodity both for domestic and agricultural use.
“Currently, water access among Kajiado households is at 35 per cent; meaning about six out of ten families in Kajiado County do not have water within their reach,” he stated.
He said that has translated to food insecurity and a general struggle for local communities, where the search for water has led to loss of many productive hours, thus having a negative impact on economic growth of our people.
Numerous efforts, he said, have been made by the county government to address the challenge.
One of the latest efforts, the governor said, is the increase of the budgetary allocation for water to Sh570 million in the 2018/2019 fiscal year from an average of an annual allocation of Sh300 million in previous years.
“The county has had four water and sewerage companies; these are Oloolaiser, Olkejuado, Oldonyo Orok and Nol-Turesh /Loitokitok. The companies have had a myriad of challenges that include massive water pilferage and lack of reliability. In fact, one of them has more than 70 per cent of its water not paid for over the years,” the governor substantiated.
He said a good number of them are unable to sustain their recurrent obligations, leading to regular staff go slows and strikes that adversely affect supply of water to Kajiado residents.
“As a county, we have, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that these water companies are not sustainable and cannot, in the prevailing situation, be relied on to raise the water access to our desired 60 per cent in the next four years,” he said.
The new company, the governor said will create a central water body through which county water financial resources can be channeled.
This, he said, will partially address the funding challenge and in turn enable big and sustainable project to be undertaken for effective water service delivery.
“The challenges our water sector faces range from governance, graft, technical capacity, funding and several others. We begin by addressing the governance aspect,” said Lenku.
Others he appointed to the new company include; Prof George Krhoda, Agatha Solitei, Samson Kerea, Christine Sereya Mopel, Stephen Karanja, Charles Masangira, Florence Waiganjo (County Water CEC Member) and Catherine Mumbi Githinji.
The new team is expected to deliver the desired services in the next three years through exploring new water sources in the county and harness them to bridge the already existing water deficit.
It will also be required to rehabilitate and upgrade existing water systems and networks to make them more efficient and reliable, and to identify modern water technologies that can enhance better tapping and utilization of water resources within the county.
Also, it will be required to network and fundraise for water access in the county from external partners/ donor agencies.
“I appeal to the relevant stakeholders to support this team. The formation of the new company means the other existing four companies stand dissolved,” said Lenku.