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Turkana Residents to Wait Longer For Water Reconnection

The Lodwar municipality residents will have to endure the ongoing water shortage until the county governments makes true its commitment to start paying outstanding bill of Sh 11 million Lodwar Water Services Company owes to Kenya Power Company.

Kenya Power’s County Business Manager, Damaris Akal, promised that power connection to the water systems will be restored once the commitments agreed were delivered.

She expressed confidence that the meeting will finally address concerns by the company insisting that good working relationship was key to avert such a crisis in future.

The Deputy Governor Mr Peter Lotethiro, on Monday directed the Lodwar Water Services Company (LOWASCO), the County Water Services Department and County Treasury to finalize payment of an initial Sh5.4 million before June, which is part of a Sh11million power bill owed by LOWASCO.

In a meeting with key stakeholders in his office meant to solve the crisis, Lotethiro decried the situation that had seen residents of the municipality go days without water, after Kenya Power disconnected power supply to water system operated by LOWASCO.

In the meeting, it was also agreed that LOWASCO will pay Sh1million each month with Lotethiro ordering the company to improve integrity of its officers in collecting charges from water trucks and water users.

He said regular payment of bills and commitment to clear the debt will build confidence between LOWASCO and the Kenya Power, as the County Government prepares to launch a new urban water services company in line with the County Water Act (2019).

Deputy Governor has directed Lodwar water Services Company and county treasury to start paying Sh11 million owed to Kenya Power Company to end water crisis in Lodwar municipality. Photo by Peter Gitonga

Lotethiro who also serves as the County Executive for the Water docket, said “The situation was unacceptable and I order that all responsible individuals work round the clock to ensure water supply was back before end of the day.”

There has been public outcry over the crisis, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic where hygiene is critical to stop spread of the virus.

Residents of Lodwar town have gone without water for the second week now. Taps have been without water for the last one week forcing residents to buy water from vendors.

“We have gone without water in our taps from last week. We are forced to hire motorbikes to fetch water from nearby water sources,” said Mike Ela, a Lodwar resident.

Another resident, Mary Akai, said they fear of an outbreak of waterborne disease due to the water scarcity. “We fear for our lives because we are not sure of the safety of the water we are buying from vendors,” she said.

This is not the first time that residents have had to go without water. Last year Lodwar residents were hit by water shortage due to destruction of boreholes by floods.

The Deputy Governor promised to shift focus to address the Napuu Water Project delay which is being implemented by the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA). He said the delay had prolonged water problems in parts of Kanamkemer ward and further delays could not be tolerated.

The meeting was attended by Chief Officer for Water Services, Moses Natome, Director Treasury, Nicholas Maiyo, Deputy Director for Water, David Kosgei, Managing Director (MD) LOWASCO, Benedict Ekeru and Principal Administrator, Faith Akuwom.

By Peter Gitonga and Ekuwom Sylvester

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