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Private Companies to Be Licensed to Build Dams for Water Distribution

The government has come up with a programme to license private companies and individuals to build dams and sell the water to distribution companies in efforts to curb the commodity’s scarcity.

Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) Chairman Prof Simon Gicharu said the move will boost water supply and end shortage occasioned by prolonged drought and climate change that has depleted water sources across the country.

Speaking Thursday during a forum where Thika water and Sewerage Company (Thiwasco) was given a license to operate for next eight years, Prof. Gicharu said the programme will also ease pressure on the government to invest billions of shillings to build mega dams as has been the case over the years.

“Through the programme, we shall have more dams and thus there will be no excuses of water shortage in any part of the country,” he said.

He said measures will be put in place to ensure the water reservoirs are built professionally to curb incidents of overflow or bursts of banks that might put residents at risk.

“We can’t continue to lose water that goes to the ocean when it rains by expecting the government to build all the dams. The government will now be focused on injecting the money for dams in other areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government has licensed the Athi Water Works Development Agency to be a bulk water distributor in a new bid to improve water distribution and management across the country.

In the new arrangement, Athi Water Company will be responsible for managing the Karimenu II Dam, water treatment plant, and water transmission pipelines to the respective water service providers and a smart bulk water meter will be installed at every offtake point.

The company will supply water to counties under its jurisdiction following which the regional units will distribute the commodity through water service providers to consumers and collect revenue.

Water Principal Secretary Paul Rono said the move would aid in efficiency in water supply and distribution as well as reduce the losses in revenue that the government has been incurring as a result of nonpaid water by a section of consumers.

“Our new model will manage the water from the start to the end user using technology across water management. This will reduce leakages and water losses that we have been incurring,” said Rono during a stakeholder’s forum organized by Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) in Ruiru, Kiambu County today.

By Muoki Charles

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