- Water Service Providers Association CEO Ambugo said climate change directly affects water firms’ operations as it reduces the water available for distribution.
- He said Kenya has already been recognised globally as a water-scarce nation, and that it is important for Kenyans to find ways to mitigate climate change.
Water companies will plant a million trees in the next six months as part of the national government’s plan to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.
Each of the 100 water service providers across the country will be required to plant at least 10,000 trees.
According to Water Service Providers Association (Waspa) CEO Anthony Ambugo, climate change directly affects water firms’ operations as it reduces the water available for distribution.
Ambugo said Kenya has already been recognised globally as a water-scarce nation, and that it is important for Kenyans to put measures in place to mitigate climate change.
“Climate change is a crisis of water, that’s why as water companies we decided to contribute to the fight against climate change by planting trees,” he said.
Ambugo revealed that so far, only about 70 per cent of Kenyans are able to access clean supply of water while the rest take more than 30 minutes to access the commodity.
He said climate change has presented a major challenge to water companies as the recent drought caused rivers to run dry while others had significantly reduced water flow.
The CEO added that water companies will have a conference in Mombasa in June during which they will plan to plant 2,000 trees.
Ambugo said the firms have already planted a million trees in the Aberdare Forest, Mau Forest, Kakamega Forest and Lodwar, and will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to plant as many as possible to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“Today (Wednesday), Waspa came with 1,000 trees for planting. We have to all work together to improve our forest cover that is still below 10 percent."
Ambugo said this during the World Water Day celebrations at Mbogo-ini Primary School in Kigumo constituency, Murang’a county. He also challenged Murang’a county government to arbitrate between local water firms that have been fighting over turfs.
Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company and Murang’a South Water and Sanitation Company have been embroiled in a long-standing squabble over Maragua dam that is about to be completed.
The dam is under Muswasco’s jurisdiction but Muwasco says that it is better capacitated to manage it, saying Muswasco that covers three constituencies has a huge area while it only covers Murang’a town and its jurisdiction.
Muswasco, on its part, says it helped lobby for the dam to boost water connectivity in its area and should manage it.
“It is the role of a county government to streamline water provision arrangements as many times, residents don’t care the source as long as they have the supply,” the water company says
Muwasco managing director Daniel Ng’ang’a said water companies will continue to partner with the county government to expand water coverage.
He further said water firms have been facing the challenges of vandalism of water equipment and illegal connections but are working with Nyumba Kumi members to address the problem.
Ng’ang’a supported Ambugo’s sentiments, saying the county government should reorganise the firms to capacitate them to equitably serve residents and ensure all areas are well covered.
While avoiding the matter, Muswasco MD Mary Nyaga said water companies will support the government’s plan to plant trees and ensure the environment and water catchment areas are conserved.