The Kilifi County government is seeking for alternative sources of power to minimize on heavy monthly costs of power bills generated from Kenya power.
The County executive for Water, Environment and Natural Resources, Mwachitu Karisa Kiringi said the devolved unit is being forced to pay monthly power bills amounting to Sh.34 million for expenses incurred to pump water from Baricho water plant and other sub stations.
“The cost of power is higher than the amount we raise from our water consumers monthly and this has been a concern for the department. We have learnt from other counties which have resorted to wind and solar energy for their operations,” he said.
Mwachitu revealed that funds have been set aside for establishment of alternative sources of power during the 2019/2020 financial year and told water consumers to be patient as water prices would go down when the cost of power is cut. A 20-litre water jerican cost Sh.5 in towns but goes higher in remote parts.
He made the remarks while launching a new water application dubbed ‘MAJIVOICE’ where water consumers will not have to go to their offices for complaints but to instead SMS the number.
There have been many complaints from members of the public in the area who allege being billed when they never received water, while others claim that their bills are being raised deliberately.
A resident in Kilifi town, Said Abdallah claimed that his metre was disconnected several months ago but he was still getting monthly water bills even before paying for reconnection.
Other water consumers in rural areas of Mwanamwinga and Kayafungo locations alleged that the water company has failed in its responsibility of providing piped water to the public as their taps have been dry for the past one year.
Meanwhile, the County Commissioner (CC), Magu Mutindika has told the county government to invest more in water as it was part of their core function.
Mutindika was speaking while leading a team of CDICC members to Gongoni water tank constructed by the national government at a cost of Sh.28-million.
By Harrison Yeri