Fresh vandalism along Nol-Turesh pipeline has further caused serious fresh water shortage in Kajiado, Commissioner David Kipkemei said today.
Commissioner Kipkemei tours Nol-Turesh Water Treatment Plant in Loitokitok.
Speaking to the Star on arrival to Kajiado after a four days’ tour of Loitokitok in the south of the region, Kipkemei attributed the acute water shortage of fresh water to vandalism of the pipeline system and illegal connection to farms.
Kipkemei said along the more than 100 km stretch from Loitokitok to Emali town on the border of Makueni and Kajiado, his security team established many illegal connections that were done in assistance of former Nol-Turesh Water and Sanitation Company.
“We have established that most of those plundering the resource are former sacked workers of the company who were paid their dues and shown the door for various malpractices,” said Kipkemei on the phone.
The county commissioner said he has instructed directorate of criminal investigations, the police and chiefs in the county to arrest and prosecute the known suspects adding that already several people are in custody awaiting court process for the offences related to illegal connection of water.
County water minister, Florence Waiganjo, explained on Tuesday that Nol-Turesh produces 11700 cubic metres daily against the required 18693 cubic meters to supply 5680 active homes in Makueni and Kajiado.
Waiganjo said the company used to collect approximately Sh5 million per month in water rates from consumers but that the figure has since declined to Sh2 million.
She explained that vandalism and illegal water connection in to irrigation farms is causing the company spend millions of shillings in repair work.
“It is true we dismissed all the staff were doing this, and this was done procedurally. After going out there, they are at it again. We are happy that we are now partnering with the national government through the office of the county commissioner to ensure that culprits are brought to book,” said Waiganjo after coming out of a cabinet meeting in Kajiado.
Kipkemei said although there is a shortfall on the required 18, 693 cubic metres of water produced daily, the balance can be topped up by boreholes water across the two counties of Kajiado and Makueni.
“This is enough water for everyone was it not for vandalism and illegal connections taking place. This is a sad situation given the fact that the water they are illegally connecting to farms is treated for domestic use,” said Kipkemei.
The commissioner said he will be personally involved in the crackdown of the alleged criminals damaging the pipeline.
“I am also suffering in Kajiado town like everyone else while criminals are reaping millions from state resource. The water is enough for everybody and I am in talks with Makueni security teams in this fight,” said Kipkemei.
Other than the now hard-hitting water shortage that cuts across Makueni and Kajiado counties, Nol-Turesh Water and Sanitation Company has in the past been dogged by embezzlement of funds allegations.
Early in the year, there was allegation that Sh60 million shillings worth of public funds had been embezzled but the management in place at the moment denied the allegations.
Following the allegations governor Joseph Lenku acted fast to question top managers of the alleged illegal goings-on at the establishment.
Soon a senior manager quit the service citing interference from outside and inside the company.