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Water company crackdown on illegal connections

Homa Bay Water and Sanitation Company (Homawasco) has embarked on a crackdown on illegal water connections in a bid to streamline its operations and generate more revenue.

The company’s Managing Director Dan Oketch, said all water vendors are expected to make fresh applications for their connections.

He said the new measures will enable the company to identify and get rid of illegal connections.

“The move is the only way we will eliminate cartels who have infiltrated the water sector and stop criminals who steal water from the company,” he said.

 “This is part of an operation to get rid of criminals who take advantage of us to get water illegally. We need to have clear records on who gets our water before selling it,” Oketch reiterated.

At least 12 water selling points in Homa Bay town have been affected, the majority of which are located in residential areas.

Oketch said some of them have multiple pipes that supply water, but only one is connected to the metre, meaning some water is supplied illegally.

“Some vendors operate different businesses, including carwash. Surprisingly, they have illegal connections supplying them,” he said.

Some of the vendors who use carts and Tuk Tuks to supply the commodity get water from intake points in Shauri Yako and Asego Hill.

Homa Bay town has had a history of perennial water shortages despite hosting the largest portion of Lake Victoria, which could supply unlimited water to homes and business premises.

Homawasco supplies 3000 cubic metres of water per day, but the demand for the town is 10,000 cubic metres.

However, Oketch said they have an infrastructure that can only supply 8,000 cubic metres, even as the company continues to grapple with illegal connections and unpaid water bills.

“Nearly 45 per cent of the water we produce is also lost to illegal connections. That is what we want to eradicate before embarking on other projects to expand the water supply,” he said.

Meanwhile, some ongoing rehabilitation works will ensure their main reservoir is filled within 30 minutes, thus increasing the company’s capacity to supply more than 600,000 litres per day.

“Other expansion projects are ongoing in Oyugis, Kendu Bay, and other major towns,” Oketch said.

At the same time, the company, with the help of the regional police unit, is also conducting an exercise to get rid of all illegal connections.

By Davis Langat

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