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Residents of Madogo issue 21 days ultimatum to TAWASCO

Residents scrabble for water from a water tanker in Madogo that was hired by area women rep, Rehema Hassan at the height of a water shortage early this year. The residents have decried the perennial water shortage claiming that TAWASCO had failed and they want the MD and the board to vacate office. Photo by KNA.

A section of Madogo residents in Tana River County have issued a 21 day ultimatum to the Tana Water and Sewerage Company (TAWASCO) to restore water supply to the town failure to which they would close down their offices in Madogo.

Led by two former Tana River County civic leaders Wedo Abadiba (Saka) and Salat Garacha (Madogo), the residents accused the water company of neglecting the town even after the recent cholera outbreak that saw at least 78 admitted at the local health centre.

“We are giving TAWASCO 21 days to fully restore water to Madogo town or we shall shut down their offices. We are tired of this perennial water shortage that seems to have no solution,” Wedo said.

“We were better off under the Garissa Water Company (GAWASCO) but since TAWASCO took over the running and management of water in Madogo, things have become worse,” he added.

Addressing the press in Madogo on Thursday, the residents said despite Madogo office remitting a minimum of Sh.400, 000 monthly, the water company has not paid its staff for over six months.

“The interest of TAWASCO is to fleece the residents of Madogo dry but not to improve water services. The salary of all the staff at Madogo office is a paltry Sh.150, 000 monthly. Where is the money collected from Madogo going if not to individual pockets?” Wedo posed.

He said area governor should sack the TAWASCO MD whom they accused of being a stumbling block to the improvement of water services in Madogo.

“The governor should personally visit Madogo to have a firsthand glimpse on the happenings in the town and the suffering the residents are going through because they lack clean, safe drinking water,” the former civic leaders added.

Wedo said that TAWASCO must review and harmonize the water rates of Madogo to come at par with other towns they were serving.

Residents of Madogo pay a fixed rate of Sh.1, 700 for domestic use while other towns such as Hola, Garsen and Bura pay Sh.500 for the same service. New water connection in Madogo is Sh.10, 200 while Hola and the rest pay Sh.2, 500.

On his part Salat Garacha said it was unfortunate that all the seven boreholes that were ‘handed over’ to TAWASCO over six years ago to serve the residents of Madogo were still supplying water to Garissa town residents.

Others who spoke included, Habiba Abadela and Rukia Kuno who demanded that TAWASCO should hand over the Madogo water supply to the community.

They said the County government was aware that the recent outbreak of cholera in Madogo was as a result of unsafe drinking water the residents were drawing form shallow wells and dry river beds.

Contacted on phone, TAWASCO MD, Nasra Hanshi said the accusations leveled against her by Madogo residents were ‘political and meant to tarnish her name’.

“It’s true we’ve not had water in Madogo for the past two months because the boreholes were submerged in flood waters but since last week, normal water supply has resumed to the town,” Nasra said.

On the water tariffs, Nasra said that the newly constituted board in conjunction with the Water Service Regulatory Board (WASREB) was reviewing the rates with a view of harmonizing them.

By  Jacob Songok/KNA

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