The politics surrounding the operationalisation of a borehole that was drilled in 2017 by Thika NG/CDF continue to hurt residents of Magongo village, Thika East Sub-county who have been forced to suffer perennial water scarcity over the years.
When the borehole was dug at the Assumption Catholic Church, residents were upbeat that water scarcity that forces them to walk several kilometers to rivers and dams will end.
However, years later, the borehole is deserted, no works have been done ever since the then Member of Parliament (MP), Alice Ngángá, lost the seat, despite it requiring only water storage tanks to operationalise the project.
The situation has been compounded by THIWASCO’s (Thika water provider) failure to pump water in the area for months despite the area being fully piped.
The residents are forced to depend on the heavily polluted water from Delmonte’s pineapple farms or River Athi.
George Kabera Muniu, a resident, said despite presenting the grievances to local leadership to have the borehole operationalised, no one seems bothered.
“The borehole was drilled using public money but its purpose has not been met. We need to have the project completed to end our suffering,” said Muniu.
According to John Kamau Juju, another resident, were the borehole to be operationalised they would easily buy the commodity from the borehole water kiosk.
He said they would also be doing irrigation farming in the semi-arid land to boost their agricultural production.
“It looks like this is a political project which would give politicians mileage at our expense. The borehole has enough water to serve the over 4,000 residents in this area,” said Juju.
Grace Muthoni, another resident said they walk at least five kilometers to be able to fetch water, wasting time that they would use to fend for their families.
She added that to be able to go home with water, they are forced to fight off crocodiles and hippos in the dams and the nearby Athi River.
They called on the government to intervene and have the borehole operationalised to ease their frustrations and suffering.
The residents at the same time called on Kiambu County government to force THIWASCO to consider pumping water in the area even if weekly.
“THIWASCO has failed us. Instead of pumping water to the area even if weekly, they only sent water bills of not less than Sh200. How do you pay for bills you haven’t spent? Kiambu Governor, James Nyoro, should intervene,” said Muthoni.
By Muoki Charles