The Murang’a governor, Mwangi wa Iria has said he will not relent in fighting to see local residents gets cheap water for domestic use.
During Madaraka Day Celebrations held at Ihura grounds, Wa Iria said despite the county being a major source of water to neighbouring counties, local residents are subjected to high water rates.
His efforts to push for cheap water tariffs, he observed, have been frustrated by some individuals and management of local water firms who use police to stop residents from demanding for cheap water.
He complained that in the past, police were involved in arresting workers involved by the county government to reconnect residents with clean water.
The governor added that Local water firms have been operating like private companies despite the fact that water is a devolved function.
“National government represented in the county by the office of county commissioner should work in unity with devolved administration but not to fight each other,” said Wa Iria asking the newly deployed County Commissioner (CC), Mohammed Barre not to engage into water politics which has been there before.
“I will not rest until the water companies in this county provide water at cheap tariffs,” he added.
A year ago the governor was at loggerheads with management of local water firms after he moved to take total control of the firms, a plan which flopped.
His efforts bore fruits after water tariffs were lowered but recently some water firms increased water rates occasioning outcry from local residents.
“We are waiting for conclusion of pending water cases after which then the county the county government will enforce authority to bring positive changes in the water sector,” noted the governor.
He said his administration will move on in installing digital water metres despite objection from water firms saying the digital gadgets will ensure customers are billed correctly.
The County administration, Wa Iria added, will from next financial year construct 35 one-million liters water tanks, one for each ward to ensure easy access to domestic water.
“The local county assembly is expected to pass a budget which will enable us construct the water tanks for each Ward,” he asserted.
He continued, “after construction of the water tanks, we will seek help from national government to get pipes so as to connect residents with clean water.”
Wa Iria promised to work in unity with the officers of national government in actualizing development agenda.
Meanwhile he said by 2022 ownership of the milk plant constructed by the county government will be transferred to farmers.
“By end of this year, farmers will be allowed to buy shares of the plant so by 2022 the plant will fully be owned by
Murang’a people,” he said.
On his part, the CC urged local leaders to unite for the sake of providing services to the residents.
Barre said he will work together with the county government in ensuring government projects are implemented without conflict.
By Bernard Munyao