Kisii water thieves blamed for revenue loss

County says up to 26 per cent of income from water is lost

In Summary
  • Many connections done at night; county vows firm action to end the vice
  • Residents given one week to regularise illegal connections or face the law
Water vendors in Kisii town
SCARCITY: Water vendors in Kisii town
Image: FILE

The Kisii county government is losing significant income from water due to illicit connections.

Gusii Water and Sanitation Company boss Hesborn Nanga said the government loses up to 26 per cent of revenue from water.

Many of the connections are done at night, Nanga said, vowing firm action to end the vice. He spoke during the launch of the firm's customer service week. 

"We are going to definitely act and we will do so at an appropriate time. Meanwhile, let them capitalise on this customer service week  to regularise the connections," he said.

A one-week amnesty was also given to those who dodge bills after which defaulters will be prosecuted.

"We appeal that they too capitalise on this  week to pay otherwise the law will catch up with them in due course," he said.

The water boss said supply problems in Kisii will ease with completion of the Sh1.6 billion Kegati Water Project. At least 10,000 residents will benefit from the project.

"The upgrading of water system program is now on its final phase and will be flagged off soon," Nanga said.

Already piping is complete and piloting was ongoing, Nanga told the Star in his office.

The water project was funded by the Dutch government with the bulk of the funds used on new reservoirs and pipes. The old sewage system will be replaced.

Kisii town has more than 300,000 residents, many of them currently going without water in their taps. The shortages force them to walk long distances to rivers and springs for the commodity.

Water vendors have been making a killing out of desperate residents and businesses. The situation is  worse in populated Mwembe, Milimani and Jogoo estates and downtown Kisii town.

Those living in estates uphill spending more. At Mwembe, for instance, dozens of women and children with cans stay at water points till late in the night.

Yesterday, Nanga said with the flagging of operations at the water station will ease  the shortages. He said the long-term plan of the county was  to ensure each household across gets adequate water.

Nanga said the county was digging more boreholes in selected places in subcounties to ease shortage.

"The ultimate plan is to ensure the residents get safe water for consumption in their households," he said.