Senator wants Mzima Springs managed by county office

A boy quenches his thirst at Mzima Springs. [File, Standard]
Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki wants the spectacular Mzima Springs managed by the Taita-Taveta County Government.

The four natural springs in Tsavo National Park are managed by the Coast Water Services Board (CWSB).

Mzima is one of Tsavo's most popular wildlife attractions owing to its population of hippos and crocodiles.

The springs have been a source of water for Mombasa town and its environs since 1957.

Local community

Mr Faki said since the source of Mzima Springs was in Taita-Taveta County, its benefits should go directly to the local community.

Speaking in Wundanyi constituency during a fact-finding mission yesterday, the Opposition legislator said the springs should not be managed by "outsiders".

“The water of Mzima Springs, which is situated within the county, does not benefit local residents who ought to be the first beneficiaries of this natural resource,” said the senator.

A report from the water department indicated that Taita-Taveta County required 15 million litres of water every day to meet its rising demand but was only receiving 7 million.

Water Executive Gasper Kabaka said the county had about 300,000 people, but with only 40 per cent having access to safe water. This means that 60 per cent of the county's population has no access to clean water.

Faki’s remarks come at a time a local ward representative has gone to the High Court to demand disbandment of the water board.

CWSB draws its water from Mzima Springs, Baricho in Kilifi County and Marere Springs in Kwale County.

Other sources are Tiwi bore holes in Kwale County, Hola water supply project in Hola town and Shella wells in Lamu County.

In his petition filed in the High Court in Voi, ODM nominated MCA Christopher Mwambingu claimed the Water Services Regulatory Board had failed to protect the rights and interests of consumers of water.

The MCA wants the board dissolved and its mandate transferred to six county governments within the Coast region.

He said under Articles 6, 174, 175 and 176 of the Constitution, the function and roles of the water service sector had been devolved.

Mr Mwambingu said continued existence of the board violated the rights of the county's residents, who continued to suffer due to inadequacy of water and sanitation services despite the existence of the spectacular Mzima Springs.

Mombasa Senator Mohamed FakiMzima SpringsTaita-Taveta Count