OIL SPILL

WRA 'refused' to declare Kiboko water safe — team

Agencies want precautionary notice lifted to save residents from water problems

In Summary

• Residents say WRA cut supply of water three weeks ago, 'even after posting on social media that the water was safe'. 

• Task force says all tests conducted on area showed that the water was safe for use. 

A crowd gathers around an inspection trench sunk by Kenya Pipeline Company to check the spread of oil following a leak
SAFE FOE CONSUMPTION: A crowd gathers around an inspection trench sunk by Kenya Pipeline Company to check the spread of oil following a leak
Image: FILE

Kenya Pipeline Corporation and Nema have accused the Water Resources Authority of ‘refusing’ to declare as safe the water of Kiboko River in Makueni.

The agencies said that WRA is yet to lift a precautionary notice on the safety of the water at the river and its environs even after several tests showed the commodity was now safe.

The National Environment Management Authority and KPC lamented even as the residents of Kiboko accused the latter of ‘forgetting’ and cutting the supply of water to the area for three weeks. 

Environment CAS Mohamed Elmi, KPC acting managing director Hudson Andambi and Robert Orina; a director at Nema, said tests done by several agencies have shown the water is safe for use. 

They claimed that WRA themselves, the University of Nairobi and Makueni county government have been involved in the tests. They are part of the Kiboko oil spill task force that probed the incident. 

The officers appeared before the Senate Energy and Petroleum committee that has been probing the cause of oil spill. 

“WRA was supposed to lift the notice on September 24,” Elmi said. 

He said the water agency's reluctance to lift the precautionary notice has caused residents to have water problems. 

Kiboko Water Resource Users Association chairman Wilson Munguti, however, accused KPC and the task force of sidelining the affected residents in their probe.

“I want to state here that as residents, we have never been involved in the entire process. What I have seen the pipeline MD declaring on his social media that the water was now safe,” he said. 

The chairman said they have been suffering for three months. 

But Andambi rubbished the claims and accused the chairman of being uneconomical with the truth.

He said the residents’ association withdrew itself from the task force in unclear circumstances adding that the company had not stopped supplying the residents with water as claimed. 

Edited by R.Wamochie