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A man washes his legs and hands at a point where a water pump is broken in Kisumu. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

County workers' union has asked the government to bail out water companies.

The Kenya County Government Workers Union said water firms need financial help to pay salaries and meet other operational expenses.

The union’s general secretary Roba Duba said yesterday that more than 20,000 water company employees countrywide were staring at a financial crisis due to salary delays occasioned by the firms’ revenue loss.

He said water firms countrywide were struggling financially following the directive by the government not to disconnect anybody who has not paid their water bill as the country fights the Covid-19 pandemic.

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In a letter addressed to Water Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki, Mr Duba said the directive had led to massive revenue losses among the companies, occasioning delays in salaries and wages to staff.

“This financial crisis has led to delays in payment of salaries for water company employees, coupled with the lack of recognition and motivation of workers generally at this crucial moment of the pandemic. If it goes unchecked..., we might have a serious crisis in our hands,” said Duba.

Letter’s recipients

The letter is copied to Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Water, among others.

Duba said revenue collection had spiralled downwards since the directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month to all water companies not to disconnect water supply to any Kenyan who failed to pay their water bills, especially those in the informal settlements.

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Duba said the directive had not only affected revenue collection, but also denied the companies official levies.

He said the financial bailout would help the companies pay workers on time, pay motivational allowances, purchase adequate personal protective equipment as well as be able to run their activities efficiently so that there can be constant supply of clean water. 

Kenya County Government Workers Union Financial crisis Covid-19 pandemic State directive
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