SIDELINED

Rasanga tells water firm to involve counties in planning

Governor questions why the board was sourcing funds from donors on projects that they do not know.

In Summary

• Rasanga said it would be fair if projects get discussed and listed before funds are made available to implement them.

• Okeyo admitted there has been poor planning and added that going forward they will be consulting extensively.

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga commissions a water project on Wednesday. Looking on are Water executive Adrian Ouma, South Sakwa MCA Lorn Adida and residents
Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga commissions a water project on Wednesday. Looking on are Water executive Adrian Ouma, South Sakwa MCA Lorn Adida and residents
Image: Lameck Baraza

Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga has asked Lake Victoria South Water Services Board to engage counties in planning water programmes.

He questioned why the board was sourcing funds from donors on projects that they do not know, yet all water projects should go in line with the County Integrated Development Plans (CIDP).

“I'm shocked to hear from board chairman Erick Okeyo that Siaya county is among the eight counties yet to benefit from Sh800 million they had sourced from donors,” he said during a meeting with national and county water stakeholders.

Rasanga said it would be fair if projects get discussed and listed before funds are made available to implement them.

“I lead so many people of Siaya who have bestowed their trust and confidence in my leadership and side-lining my administration in terms of planning on water projects is not a good idea,” Rasanga said.

He said that there is a need for consultation among stakeholders to avoid projects being duplicated and will see residents benefit from sustainable water programs

“Even if certain funds are meant for water projects for schools it will not be a problem if we connect schools adjacent to the roads where the main water pipe carrying Siaya-Bondo water project passes,” Rasanga said.

The governor added that funds from the national government that could have connected those schools could be diverted to do water projects in other areas with scarcity.

“If the projects target schools then it will relieve them from the burden of connecting water to schools,” he said.

Okeyo admitted there has been poor planning and added that going forward, they will be consulting extensively. He also defended the board on the Sh400 million water targeting school saying, it’s a proposal that was directly supported by the ministry.

“Water for schools is a National government initiative targeting public institutions and the funds in our accounts is meant to do water for schools in our catchment areas,” Okeyo said.

An audit report on non-revenue water has revealed that Kenya is losing over Sh400 million annually through water leakages, wastage, and illegal connections.

The report, which was done by (Wasreb), attributed the loss to burst in connection pipes, illegal connections, faulty meters, unmetered supply, and water wastage by consumers among others.

“In most counties, especially those in Nyanza, 70 per cent of the water produced does not reach consumers and that translates to Sh14 million that goes uncounted for in every month,” Wasreb chairman Joshua Irungu said.

Irungu, who led a delegation from Lake Victoria Water Services Board to Siaya for a fact-finding mission, says that Kenya loses more than 43 per cent of its drinkable water to non-revenue water.