•Ronoh spoke when he made a courtesy call to Machakos County Commissioner on Monday
•He lamented that vandalism cost the taxpayer huge losses.
Water and irrigation PS Paul Kiprono Ronoh on Monday directed the Machakos county Administration Police Critical Installation Protection Unit to act and end wanton vandalism of water infrastructure.
Ronoh lamented vandals were frustrating efforts by the government to provide water to residents and such malicious people must be hunted down and arrested.
He spoke when he made a courtesy call to the Machakos County Commissioner, David Rotich.
He was on a tour of water projects in the county during which he was accompanied by the CEO of the Tanathi Water Works Development Agency, Eng. Fredrick Mwamati.
He said vandalism of water infrastructure was on a large scale in Machakos and asked the deputy County CIPU commander Elijah Gekone to act with speed to reign in on the vandals.
The PS noted that the government was losing millions of shillings through the destruction and theft of water infrastructure.
He said water projects were massive investments that cost the taxpayer dearly as some of the funds were sourced through loans from development partners.
Ronoh said the issue of vandalism of water infrastructure was a headache not only in Machakos but in many other areas of Kenya adding that culprits must be mercilessly dealt with.
"The need to protect water infrastructure cannot be gained said. We are deploying 300 police officers to protect water infrastructure," said Ronoh.
The PS added that the government was in the process of integrating the protection of water installations with ICT, Energy and road infrastructure from destruction and theft.
He stressed that there was no way the government was going to invest huge amounts of money in water with part of it being loans and allow vandalism on the same.
He told the CIPU officers in Machakos to be extra vigilant and carry a crackdown to ensure vandals were arrested and charged in court.
"Next time I come to Machakos, I do not want to hear issues of vandalism or destruction of Water infrastructure," the PS cautioned.
He asked the police Officers to monitor all mushrooming roadside car wash stations to establish whether the owners siphoned water pipes through vandalism.
He said it was prudent to protect the existing water Infrastructure in order to save funds to invest in additional water projects as the government moves towards investing in the provision of water to more Kenyans.
The PS said the government was keen to connect homes to water to protect girls who drop out of school as the busy themselves with the work of searching for water.
He said boreholes would be sunk in schools and will supply communities with water.
"Girls have not been going to school as they preoccupy themselves in search of water. That should stop as we connect households to water for our girls to get an education," said Ronoh.