Hundreds of women from Mbeere South Sub County this morning took to the streets of Embu town expressing displeasure over neglect by the County Government to provide water services.
Drawn from Kiambere, Mavuria, Mbeti North, Makima and Mwea wards, the women walked several kilometres to Embu town carrying jerricans and other water containers to make their voice heard.
The aged women who come from the semi-arid part of Embu County said they were tired of walking close to 30 kilometres to either River Tana, Thiba or the crocodile infested seven forks dams in search of water.
Bridgit Muthoni King’ondu from Makima ward said they have been forced to suspend other household chores to search for the elusive commodity.
“We spend close to 10 hours walking to water points which are too few and dangerous. We also have to fight off crocodiles and hippos to get that commodity. Some of us are weak and aged, and have spent the entire of our later days in the dams to get water,” she said.
Margaret Wanja, 59, from Kiambere Ward says she alongside other women walk 30 kilometers each day to fetch water from Kiambere dam.
They wake up at 5am to go to the dam so as not to suffer from the effects of the scorching sun that strikes the area early. Their school going children have no one to prepare them for school but have to bear with it.
“Sometimes, drinking or bathing is a challenge,” she said.Some of the men who accompanied their wives in the demos said they always tend to most of the household chores since their wives are always away in the streams.
They complained that they were tired of having to lose family members to crocodile and hippo attacks as they draw water in Kiambere dam.
Two months ago, a school girl was mauled to death by a crocodile as she fetched water in the dam, an incident that caused public uproar county with residents calling on the county government to halt other development projects to prioritise on provision of water in the area.
“What is the need of having good roads and enough food when residents don’t have drinking water or can’t cook the food? The county has enough water resources that if harnessed, can supply every household with clean water,” said Edward Musega, a resident.
By Muoki Charles