Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has asked the county governments to ensure the water utilities companies are run professionally without any form of corruption.
Mudavadi said the water companies should have good corporate governance as required by the regulator, and they must reduce Non-Revenue water in their utilities to acceptable levels.
The prime CS was speaking after officially flagging off the 12th Edition of Water Companies Sports Association (WASCO) games at William ole Ntimama stadium in Narok County.
The Prime CS was accompanied by Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome, Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu, and County Commissioner Isaac Masinde, among other leaders.
The Prime CS added that the government is committed to transforming the way it manages its water resources and delivers water and sanitation services to its citizens.
The Prime CS said that water and sanitation are at the core of sustainable development, and the range of services they provide underpins economic growth and environmental sustainability.
The Prime CS also noted that a considerable portion of the population still lacks access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation.
The Prime CS admitted that all have been affected by the effects of droughts, flooding, and unpredictable rainfall patterns, thus hampering the provision of water and basic sanitation by the utilities.
“Climate change is exacerbating the situation with increasing disasters such as floods and droughts resulting in resource-based conflicts,” added Mudavadi.
On her part, Wahome said the climate change phenomenon and its effects, especially the emergence of severe cycles of droughts, floods, and desertification, are increasingly impacting and critically reducing the country’s renewable freshwater resources.
“Kenya is listed as one of the water-scarce countries, and to address this situation, the government is implementing programmes such as the construction of dams aimed at increasing access to water and sanitation for all, as enshrined in the Constitution and also as part of the mandate of the Ministry,” said Wahome.
Wahome added that the ministry is alert to the challenges of diminishing water resources and an ever-growing national population that increases the demand for water.
The provision of water and sanitation is a devolved function. She therefore calls upon all the water service providers (WSPs) to partner and collaborate to ensure that consumers are given appropriate attention.
Wahome also noted that the 2002 Water Act brought about the separation of policymaking, water services, water resources management, and regulation functions.
“This has led to decentralisation of functions, a clear institutional framework, increased investment, and greater stakeholder participation.
The Water Act of 2016 has enhanced water sector reforms through the creation of new sector institutions for better service delivery,” said Wahome.
The CS said the government will continue to implement policy, governance, and legal interventions to increase water storage and improve sanitation in the country.
Similarly, Governor Ntutu said water companies play a critical role in mitigating climate change and impact directly on water availability and quality.
“As guardians of water sources and distribution systems, we must promote sustainable water management, invest in green infrastructure, incorporate climate concerns, and support the local communities to collectively mitigate these global issues,” he said.
The WASCO Games theme is “Combating Climate Change Crisis through Sports”, aligned to the current efforts being undertaken by the Ministry, Agencies, water service providers, and other stakeholders to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
By John Kaleke