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Governor decries inefficiency by local water company

Kisii County Governor James Ongwae has decried low water connectivity by the local Gusii Water and Sewerage Company.

Speaking during an event to hand over water storage and hand washing tanks donated by lake Victoria South Water and Works development Authority in Kisii, Ongwae said the overall connections by the company at the moment was just 17,000 instead of the expected 100,000.

The governor also noted that poor billing and lack of transparency was derailing progress of the company saying it currently lacks sustainability.

He also criticized use of dilapidated water networks dating back to 1937 saying the same needs to be replaced urgently for efficient service delivery.

On sewerage, Ongwae said the current connectivity was poor in the county at only 50 percent of the actual requirement.

During the event which was held at Kisii Agricultural Training Institute Wednesday, Lake Victoria South Water Services Board Chairman Dan Omino cited illegal water connections, improper metering and frequent bursting of pipes as the major cause of losses in revenue collection.

Omino advised the relevant authorities to use modern meters and improve surveillance to reduce criminal activities and loss of the scarce commodity through burst pipes.

He called for public participation so that residents can own the process and see the need to volunteer information to the relevant authorities, even as they await completion of Kegati water project, expected to increase water supply from 6,500 cubic meters to 27,000  per day and which was already 96 percent complete.

County Commissioner Stephen Kihara called for involvement of National Government Administration Officers saying they were best placed to offer security in the county because they had laid down structures up to the village level.

Kihara urged chiefs to be more vigilant or be personally held accountable when criminal activities are experienced in their areas of jurisdiction.

During the function, 10 tanks were donated in the second phase. The same company had donated another 20 tanks a month ago.

Ongwae said the donation was timely, coming during the covid-19 pandemic as the tanks will improve hygiene in the densely populated area.

By Jane Naitore and Clinton Nyamumbo

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