Water companies feel pinch of governor's directive's on bills

Kahuti Water and Sanitation Managing Director Ephantus Kamau detailing challenges experienced after the Murang'a county government imposed water tariffs last year. [Boniface Gikandi]

A water company is accusing the leadership of Murang’a County of interfering with its operations.

The management of Kahuti Water and Sanitation Company claims the county’s directive to residents asking them not to pay water bills is hurting its business. 

The company reported last week that its revenue had dipped to less than Sh40 million last year, down from Sh52,374,543 reported the year before. 

At the same time, Company Managing Director Ephantus Kamau informed shareholders from Kangema and Kahuro sub-counties that water coverage in those areas has dropped from 103 per cent to 94 per cent.

In a stakeholder meeting on Saturday, Margaret Irungu, representing residents in Kanyenya ini area, said it was illegal for the county to interfere with the water firm’s operations. 

Ms Irungu blamed the county government for failing to support water companies with resources, and instead trying to hijack their management .

Governor Mwangi wa Iria has directed residents not to pay more than Sh200 monthly for water.

Illegal appointment

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“Murang’a county government advisory to locals has continued to interfere with the company budget,” said Eng Kamau.

Kamau said the company has only been able to provide water to 41.3 per cent of the residents in the county since the directive was issued.

Fresia Kamau, the chairperson of the company, said the board was an agent of Tana Water Service Board (TWSB) which had greatly assisted in infrastructure development.

Ms Kamau castigated the county leadership for having an hand in the illegal appointment of board members.

“The appointments by the county government are futile. A gazette notice can not go against the national law. We are currently in a process of recruiting two directors in accordance with the law,” said Ms Kamau.  

During the meeting, Kahuro Deputy County Commissioner Wilberforce Kilonzo attributed the loss of water in the county to private plumbers who are putting up illegal connections in the villages.

“Our security intelligence has revealed there are more people getting water through illegal connections which is creating shortages that lead to rationing,” said Mr Kilonzo.

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Murang’a CountyKahuti Water and Sanitation CompanyGovernor Mwangi wa Iria