Skip to main content
November 15, 2018

MPs reject Tanathi board dissolution

Women collecting water from a  well scooped in  a dry river bed in Kitui county. They have to wait in turns for water to percolate.
Photo by Musembi Nzengu
Women collecting water from a well scooped in a dry river bed in Kitui county. They have to wait in turns for water to percolate. Photo by Musembi Nzengu

Five Kitui legislators are reading a sinister motive in the Ministry of Water’s proposal to disband the Tanathi Water Services Board.

The proposal is part of water sector reforms that seek to introduce regional water bodies.

Those against the reforms are Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), Rachael Nyamai (South), Edith Nyenze (West), Paul Nzengu (Mwingi North) and Woman Representative Irene Kasalu.

The regional offices of Tanathi Water Services Board are currently in Kitui town, but staff and machinery are set to be relocated to Mombasa if the new water policy is implemented.

The MPs said the proposal is a raw deal and doing away with the board will worsen the water scarcity problem in the region.

Under the contested water policy, Kitui and Makueni counties would be served under Coast Water Services Board, while Machakos would be under Athi Water Services in Nairobi.

During an event hosted by Nzengu in Tseikuru last Friday, the MPs said the disbandment of Tanathi board will make Kitui lose Sh5 billion in water projects, some of which are funded by the African Development Bank.

Nzengu said he will introduce a private motion at the National Assembly to oppose the disbandment of the Tanathi board. He urged his colleagues to rally behind him.

Mbai urged the government to rescind the implementation of the new water policy.

He said Ukambani’s water problems should be dealt with from within the region.

“Over 90 per cent of the water we have in Ukambani is through Tanathi. We will not accept this move because our water challenges are unique to those of other regions,” Mbai said.

A government which thinks of disbanding Tanathi does not have good intentions for the more than three million people of Ukambani, he said.

“We urge President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to tour the region and bring more water projects through Tanathi,” Mbai said.

Poll of the day