By Michael Chepkwony
Sixteen thousand people in Kapsabet town lack piped water.
This is despite the fact that Kapsabet Water and Sanitation Company has the capacity to provide piped water to approximately 32,000 people.
Chairman of the company board of directors John Chumo disclosed they are serving 16,000 people, which is half the town’s population.
He attributed this shortage to lack of co-operation from residents.
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“Many people do not want to break away from the tradition of fetching water from rivers. Others are misinformed that piped water is expensive,” explained Chumo.
A local, Albert Koech, confirmed that they did not want the piped water because of the monthly water bills.
“There are so many pressing needs in my family including school fees. I would rather fend for those and continue fetching free water from the river,” he said.
Dr Chumo, however, said the undersupply by the company and the rising illegal water connections was frustrating maximum revenue collection.
“The piped water is power driven and the company pays up to Sh800,000 to Kenya Power exclusive of salaries to the workers. We cannot save much for expansion of lines and maintenance,” said Chumo.
The company records indicate that they lose approximately Sh500,000 every month from illegal connections.
The company, Chumo said, had received financial aid amounting to Sh23 million from the Ministry of Housing to expand water lines to other areas and encourage residents to connect.
“When we realised that residents were reluctant, we sought an alternative means of attracting their attention. We are now working on water lines that will reach them directly,” he added.
The company is under Lake Victoria Water Services Board.