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CS challenges county governments to improve water management services

Cabinet secretary for water, irrigation and sanitation Simon Chelugui has challenged county governments to improve on governance challenges affecting water companies under their care.

Chelugui said that the national government will have no option but to intervene at take over the management of water services in case the devolved governments fail to ensure that water service providers under their supervision live to the expectation of the taxpayers.

Speaking at Got Osimbo primary school grounds in Siaya County when he inaugurated a Sh 1.2 billion Ugunja-Sega-Ukwala water project, Chelugui warned that it will not be business as usual for county governments that will fail to provide water services to the public.

He said that the county government and the water service provision companies will have to ensure efficient management of the water projects and surrender revenue meant for servicing of the loans that the national government has taken to implement the projects.

“It will be painful to spend billions and have such projects run down because of governance issues,” said the cabinet secretary who was flanked by his CAS Winnie Guchu, legislators Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), David Ochieng (Ugenya) and Siaya county commissioner Michael Tialal.

Chelugui said that it was the responsibility of the national government to develop the water projects and hand them over to the county governments to run them through water providing companies which are expected to generate revenue for payment of loans.

He said the national government has pumped more than Sh 3.6 billion to develop water projects in Siaya County in the last three years and urged the public to help secure them.

Through the Sh 1.2 billion African Development Bank project that he launched, Chelugui said that the government will increase water coverage in the county to 65 percent of the population.

“The current coverage of clean water in Siaya County stands at 55 per cent and the project we are launching will increase this to 65 per cent in the next two years within which it will be complete,” he said.

MPs Wandayi, Ochieng and Siaya Women representative Dr. Christine Ombaka hailed the national government for initiating development in the area and urged the public to help protect such projects.

The trio said that the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the country had enabled the government to achieve much, adding that Kenyans need to guard the existing peace.

By Phillip Onyango


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