BendAburu Alert...... Reveals water supply scandal, as Homa-Bay County government presents dry taps "Christmas Present" to residents, as Kenya Power
Reveals water supply scandal, as Homa-Bay County government presents dry taps “Christmas Present” to residents, as Kenya Power disconnects water supply following repeated failure by the County government to pay bill and persistent illegal reconnections.
“Yesterday, Dec 20, 2018, Kenya Power disconnected electricity to Homa-Bay Town water supply over a kshs 10 million debt. The Water inlet, at the lake was also due for disconnection, for non-payment, however, Kenya Power staff were reportedly denied access on Friday, 21st Dec. 2018.
Chief Officer, Duncan Jomo Osodo termed the disconnection ‘an act of bad faith’, saying that the county only owed Kshs. 5 million and were resolving it.
The disconnection by Kenya power “at the pole” follows the power utility suppliers frustration with continuous illegal reconnection. The power cut means the few Homa-Bay residents who have enjoyed piped water, [bought at water kiosks] now join the vast majority of residents who have for a long while drawn water for domestic usage from the few operational boreholes and/or raw Lake Victoria water.
….County No. 043 promises and no delivery……
The development isn’t altogether surprising, for a county government increasingly known by discerning residents as “full of promises, media declarations, launches and ribbon cutting, while Zero on implimentation and service delivery…..”
It comes hot on the heels of a declaration during a Vernacular Radio Talk Show where Water, Environment and Natural Resources, CEC, Dickson Oruko Nyawinda claimed the perential Homa-Bay water situation was under control. Mr Nyawinda cited “the county government plans to issue all county residents with 10,000 litre water tanks, on condition targetted houses had rain water trapping gutters …”
What appears to be yet another smoke and miror declaration considering the number of households in the county and that there was no budget for the exercise. More pointedly, a statement made while residents of Arunda [popular known as Runda] and Makongeni area within the town have not received any water – even in the water kiosks – for over a month!
… Disconnection a tip of Homa-Bay Water Scandal …..
Its telling, that between 2013 to 2016, the county allocated in excess of Kshs. 1.6 Billion [FY 2013/14 kshs 450M, FY 2014/15 kshs 520M, FY 2015/16 kshs 650M ] for water development projects, but has suspiciously little to show the public for it.
Water Kiosks – The public servants and cronnies of people in high places own water kioks which have no water meters denying the county revenue. Fact known to the county government who even comissioned a Water task force in 2015 headed by former Mayor Peter Agulo who presented Goveror Awiti with recommendations were ignored.
A member of the Task Force, Walter Opiyo said a possible explanation being that some water kiosks are owned by friends and relatives of the county capture cartel.
We witnessed one such kiosk in Shauriyako Area with an underground tank supplied with water by the South Nyanza water and Sewerage company water bowser from the depot [unreceipted] at night and sold in the day. The water bowser was very busy during that weekend making unreceipted deliveries, for which an employee was allegedly suspended by later reinstated!
Markets – This most recent power cut, at the public utility, in Homa-Bay town, follows earlier disconnections in various markets. Rodi Market despite repeated allocations [kshs. 500M in 2016/17], while residents, for instance, have not been supplied water by the public utility, for well over six months. Dejected residents and market users now rely on costly private boreholes.
Solar panels hijacked by public servants and politicians – A project initiated by the defunct Homa-Bay Muniscipality Council for pumping water was delivered during the term of the county government which received 256 solar panels for pumping water.
County Capture cartel, public servants and politicians appropriated these solar panels which have since been fitted in their homes. Some beneficiaries of this shaddy aquisition include County Secretary, Isaiah Ogwe, CEC Chris Agong, and others including then CEC Water, Everylyne Agwa who fitted a solar panel for the private use at her grandparents home in karachuonyo Wang’chieng.
UN Habitat Grant – While the Homa-Bay town water requirment is 6,000 Cubic litres, the current water treatment plant has only a 2,000 Cublic litres capacity. UN Habitat Grant funded the construction of an additional 2,000 cubic litre water treatment plant which was siphoned during the Homa-Bay Municipality days. On their part, despite the annual allocations, by the county government, NO SUBSTANTIVE, initiative has been made to increase the water treatment capacity since inception of the devolution government.
Belgian grant – This raises even more concerns whether these public servants can be trusted to prudently allocate and utilise Kshs. 2 Billion Belgian grant for water in the public interest.
The disconnections and increasingly revelations of improperity in the county governemtn come at a time when the county government is under siege to explain various claims of misappropriation of public funds. This an all with a government who has not been seen in the public for over 6 months.
…. Suspension of County Government gains pace…
The water utility disconnection gives further ammunition for the ongoing “Rees Homa-Bay signature campaign” and demonstrates the spiraling decline in social infrastructure and support for Homa-Bay County residents.
The water situation in Homa-Bay Town reflects the situation in the County and demonstrates the spiral decline in social infrastructure and support for residents, more the reason the Awiti government has to go – Peter Ouma Muga
Rees Homa-Bay signature campaign [#ReesHomabayCampaign] has since shifted gears in recent days, and is now collecting signatures targettting the statutory 10% of registered voters to petition the President to suspend the Homa-Bay County government in accordance with Article 192(1)(b) of the Constitution as the County government engages in actions that are against the common needs and interests of the citizens of Homa-Bay County.
A co-ordinator of the campaign, Peter Ouma Muga, , described the water disconnection as “one of the last nails in the coffin of the Homa-Bay County Government, and demonstrates the spiral decline in social infrastructure, more the reason the Awiti government has to go..”
For the moment, it now appears Homa-Bay residents taps are dry as residents resort to boreholes and raw water from Lake victoria.