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Nyandarua Governor Daniel Waithaka accuses police of blocking potato law

By James Munyeki | January 2nd 2015

The County Government of Nyandarua has protested against alleged failure by police officers to arrest violators of the new law on potato packaging.

Speaking to the Press in his office on Tuesday, Governor Daniel Waithaka claimed a section of security officers are conniving with unscrupulous merchants to defeat implementation of the new law which he said was enacted to protect farmers.

"I wish to emphasise that the potato is a very important crop in our county because it accounts for 50 per cent of earnings derived from the agriculture sector. Any attempt to sabotage this law will be resisted strongly by farmers and leaders and we are prepared to take every action to ensure that it is implemented," said the governor.

He said the county government will support fully a bill seeking to further regulate the growing and marketing of potatoes through creation of a Potato Board of Kenya (PBoK) currently before the Senate.


The proposed board will buy potatoes directly from farmers and keep them in cold stores before releasing them to traders and other consumers.

This, he said, will ensure that farmers sell their produce at fair prices just like their counterparts dealing with grains.

Governor Waithaka also appealed to potato-growing counties to play a proactive role by ensuring that the law is fully implemented in their regions so as to ensure the farmers are benefiting from their sweat.

"I also hope that the Nairobi City County government will move with speed and harmonise its taxation law with the new legislation to ensure that traders are charged fairly," he said.

The new potato law stipulates that persons found flouting it are liable for a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or a jail term of one year or both.

Meanwhile residents of Nyahururu town should brace themselves for tough times this year after the local water company increased water prices by three shillings per cubic metre.

Nyahururu Water and Sanitation Company announced the new rates yesterday, setting the stage for a protest by residents.

The company's managing Director Bernard Mwaura said the move to increase water bills had been caused by the high electricity costs that the company was experiencing.

Mwaura said the company has been faced with difficulties in footing electricity bills amounting to Sh1.5 million every month and purifying the water has also been a challenge.


"The water is muddy because of the hippo sanctuary upstream. We spend Sh1.2 million in purifying the water alone, a cost that is too high," said Mwaura.

Mwaura noted there has been an increase in waterborne diseases reported in local hospitals and hence there was need to improve the water cleaning systems.

"The increase in the price of water is just 0.37 cents per litre and therefore our consumers must understand," said Mwaura.

He said the water company intends to improve service delivery by ensuring that consumers get 24-hour water supply throughout the week and also to ensure that 60,000 people are connected to the water grid.

He also urged the county government to assist the company with funds to put up a water tank in Rumuruti township.
"The tank will cost Sh19 million. Taps have decayed and we need to remap the town," he said.

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