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Two counties agree to end protracted row over unpaid Sh29.5m water bill

Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok when he appeared before the Committee on County Public Account and Investments (CPAIC) chaired by Senator Ochilo Ayacko at the KICC, Nairobi on September 14, 2021 [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Kericho residents can now breathe a sigh of relief after Bomet County agreed to restore water supply despite an unpaid Sh29.5 million bill.

A dialogue between the two counties and Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency helped resolve the crisis that had affected about 35,000 households.

The crisis began on December 24 when Bomet disconnected water supply to Kericho from its Itare water treatment plant in Konoin Sub-County. Bomet has been supplying Kericho with water since 2015.

The county, through the Bomet Water and Sanitation Company had faulted Kericho for failing to meet its end of the bargain by failing to settle water bills. Adversely affected areas included Litein and Kericho towns.

On Saturday, Bomet governor Hillary Barchok and Kericho’s Paul Chepkwony reached an agreement. “I’m glad we’ve been able to reach a deal. I support the proposal that ensures resumption of water supply to our people,” said Chepkwony.

In the deal, Bomet will resume supply of at least 3,500 cubic meters of water per day to Kericho with Chepkwony’s administration expected to contribute to the maintenance of the Itare water treatment plant.

Kericho is also expected to pay Sh15 million to Bomet as part of the water bills owed to the company within 14 days.