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Vandalism to blame for water shortage in Kwale

Residents of Kinango subcounty in Kwale have decried the lack of water supply in the area, saying it has caused them untold hardship.

Some of the residents who spoke with KNA said there had not been a water supply within the subcounty and its outlying areas in the last two weeks.

Those interviewed expressed concern about the water shortage, saying that the situation could result in an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and others if something was not done urgently by the relevant authorities.

Alfred Masha, a resident of Kinango town, said that the situation had forced many people to depend mostly on those selling water through water tankers, handcart and donkey-drawn cart vendors.

Masha says this has resulted in an increase in the price of water due to the vendors noting that a 20-litre jerry can of water now costs Sh 60 as against Sh30 they used to buy it.

Kwale Water and Sewerage Company Ltd. (KWAWASCO) says water problems experienced in Kinango were mainly due to vandalism.

KWAWASCO Managing Director (MD) Eric Parmet confirmed the water crisis and attributed the situation to vandalism of critical water infrastructure in the area and road construction activities.

Mr. Parmet urged the public to use water sparingly as KWAWASCO works to tackle the water shortage that has left taps running dry.

He expressed concern about the spate of vandalism to water infrastructure in the area saying it was affecting the supply of water in some parts of the sub county.

Parmet has pleaded with the communities to assist in reporting the culprits who vandalise water infrastructure.

He attributed the perennial water scarcity in the county to the activities of pipeline vandals, noting that the water company would ensure that there is constant water supply in the region and that the vandalised pipes are replaced.

He lamented that acts of vandalism often lead to financial losses for the water company and are disruptive to the process of ensuring adequate water supply.

The water official said efforts are being made to see that the problem does not linger for too long as engineers are on ground working to rectify the faults.

“We are aware of the scarcity being experienced and we are not complacent but trying to resolve the situation and actually, we have mobilised a water police unit to fight vandalism in the area,” he said.

He said that the water company was currently finding ways of resolving the water scarcity with relevant authorities and called on the residents to be patient as water would soon be available.

“Wanton acts of pipeline and metre vandalism in Kinango have put intense pressure on supplies and we urge the public to use the precious commodity sparingly,” he said.

He went further: “we would also like to remind everyone that the safety of the water infrastructure is the responsibility of all of us. So let’s report any culprits to the nearest police station, local administration, or local KWAWASCO office”.

He appealed to residents of the affected areas to be patient, as the production and distribution of water would commence in earnest.

Kwale Deputy Governor (DG) Chirema Kombo has asked the water company to come up with a long-lasting solution of the water shortage problem facing Kinango and several other areas of the coastal county.

DG Kombo however, assured that the county government, through the Water Services department, will come up with mechanisms to identify and solve the challenges contributing to water supply shortages across the county.

“Actually, after health services, reliable water provision is among the other key priorities of the devolved government,” he said.

Kombo has urged community members to report any acts of vandalism, adding that water tankers have been deployed to the affected areas until supplies are restored

By Hussein Abdullahi

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