- Rono said any water cartel found damaging water pipes will face the law
- He said the government cannot afford to lose revenue after investing a lot of money in water projects
Water and Sanitation PS Kiprono Rono has issued a tough warning against water cartels sabotaging water infrastructure in Garissa county.
He spoke when he launched a police unit to rein in water cartels who are allegedly destroying water pipes and diverting water to their businesses.
Rono said any water cartel found damaging water pipes and interfering with the county's collection of water revenue will face the law.
He directed the county commissioner and security officers to arrest individuals using illegal water connections denying the county water revenue.
"I want to warn all the water bowsers getting water illegally that their time is over. We will not strive as national government to provide resources which go to waste,” Rono said.
Garissa town has for quite some time now been facing water shortage occasioned by destruction of water pipes and diversion of water by water cartels.
The cartels then in turn sell the water to residents at exorbitant fees.
Rono was is in Garissa to launch several water projects in Balambala, Garissa town and Lagdera subcounties.
“It is surprising that there are more water bowsers in Garissa county than the matatus. That tells you that there is a big problem in this county," he said.
He urged individuals selling water to get it legally and ensure that it is clean and safe for human consumption.
Rono said Garissa county was only getting 30,000 cubic meters of water per day despite having a demand of 63,000 cubic meters.
“It is ridiculous that there is no water in Garissa when there is Tana River here and the government has invested heavily to provide water because a few people are destroying the infrastructure while others are refusing to pay for water,” he said.
The PS said that the government has identified tanks to be distributed in the county through the mama na maji program to enable residents harvest rain water.
Rono donated 50 water tanks with a 10,000 litre capacity to harvest rain water and reduce water shortage.
Garissa Governor Nathif Jama expressed gratitude to the national government for its support fighting water shortage in Garissa.
“We have agreed as two levels of government to work together so that we can ease the problems of water for Garissa town residents and all other towns,” he said.
MPs Mohamed Dekow (Township), Abdikadir Hussein (Lagdera), Abdi Ali Abdi (Ijara), and Women Rep Udgoon Siyad were present during the tour.