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Meru residents urged to support compliance initiatives

Meru County residents have been called upon to be more proactive in supporting efforts being made to develop and embrace a culture of complying with existing legal and policy frameworks governing the management and utilization of the scarce water resource in the county.

Meru County Urban Water and Sanitation Services Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Mberia made this appeal while speaking to water users on the modalities and benefits of implementing a five-year Strategic Plan launched about two weeks ago.

Mberia said the public had a very crucial role in assisting the national and the county governments in containing rampant illegal abstraction of water for domestic and farming activities, which had resulted in drying of rivers, springs and wetlands across the region in recent years.

He noted that efforts by the corporation to provide quality, reliable and affordable water and sanitation services in the region were being hindered by careless and selfish human activities, which have mostly contributed to low yields in boreholes, especially those in the semi-arid parts of the county.

The CEO said the corporation had embarked on a stakeholders’ participatory approach to have the population adequately sensitized on the importance of getting on board in support of government efforts and initiatives geared towards protecting and conserving water sources and riparian zones for the end result of supplying clean water to the larger population in the vast county.

He appealed to all players in the water sector to consider enhancing collaboration, consultation and communication with other like-minded entities to forge ahead as a team into exploring opportunities of establishing MoUs with donors as a way of cushioning existing water management and utilization challenges.

Mberia said time and resources were being spent in trying to handle and solve water related conflicts emanating in communities, especially during the dry spell when water levels in rivers and other sources get very low.

This therefore means the idea of pursuing the possibility of alternative water sources was no longer debatable, since there was need to take care of the fast-growing population in urban and rural areas.

“All players in the water sector had a crucial role to play to ensure there was enough of the commodity for both human and livestock consumption throughout the year,” said Mberia.

At the same time, the CEO lauded the existence of the national and county government development blueprints such as the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Meru County Vision 2040, saying the corporation was committed to being guided into achieving the vision of being a world-class provider of water and sanitation services to the larger Meru population and beyond in the next five years.

He said the corporation service activities were driven by the popular mission entrenched in its 2021-2026 Strategic Plan to sustainably provide quality, reliable and affordable water and sanitation services to the population using modern technology.

However, Mberia noted that high poverty levels and community ignorance on matters of protecting and conserving the environment in some parts of the county had emerged as notable impediments against the desired provision of reliable water supply in the region.

He said stakeholders brought on board to participate in the full implementation of the five-year Strategic Plan, including the input of the management board led by Dr. Mugambi Mworia had resolved to lobby for partnership from willing and committed investors to cater for the existing insufficient investments in the water supply and sanitation infrastructure to assist in improving community livelihoods.

The CEO assured Meru residents of improved services, saying all departments of the corporation had an obligation to commit to diligently translating the strategic action plan into departmental work plans, hence providing the foundation for departmental performance evaluation.

“The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan has been perceived to be a guide of assessing performance and achievements of results in the corporation in the next five years,” Mberia said.

By Makaa Margaret

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