While our elected MCA´s are traveling to Singapore and spending more than 20.000.000 Schilling ( 20 mio ) our residents of Zigira, Kilole, Mwandimu, Masindeni, Msangatifu, Vidziani and Baselona villages in Kinondo and Msambweni have to walk for five kilometre to get clean water.
For long time the villagers were depending fresh water from Deki dam but due to prolonged drought that affected the area ten years ago the dam dried up forcing them to walk for long distance looking for clean and fresh drinking water.
Though Kwale International Sugar Company Limited, KISCOL revived the dam, the residents say the water is not safety for use and for their health as the water in the dam is dirty and shallow and the sugar company is also using the same water for irrigation in their plantation.
However they said that for other domestic use, they are forced to fetch water from a nearby Mkurumudzi river and from a shallow dam around their residence which is not safe for their health. Mwanahamisi Omar claimed that she has to walk for all that kilometres to get clean water from Mkurumudzi River. In order to avoid the scorching sun during the day, she wakes up at 5am together with her three children to make two hour walk to the borehole. “The scorching sun will tire you, especially when walking on foot with a jerrican on your head. That why I prefer going for water early in the morning ”
Mwanahamisi says she has never had a chance to drink tap water but when it rains she ensures she tap water to avoid walking that long distance and to save her children the agony of fetching water before going to school. She added that if they could get a nearby water source it would save them.
Juma Saidi from Masinde Village says with the help of Kwale Sugar Company, KISCOL they managed to get a bore hole that is serving the whole community. “It has given us easier time as I can attend to other issues as i take shorter time to get water. But still there are some who come from as far as there kilometres to get the water ”
The question is: Why are over 600.00 Kwale County Citizens lack fresh water ??
The only fresh water sources, Tiwi boreholes and Marere Water Works that produces 20 million litres, 14 million litres of water is being supplied to Mombasa County – so only 30% of Kwale water could be used by Kwale Citizens. This one of the biggest reasons of water shortages in Kwale and as a result kwale county governor Salim Mvurya said his county plans to hold talks with coast water service board over water supplied to Mombasa from Kwale. He demanded part of the revenue generated from the water supplied to Mombasa county residents – sofar without success.
Secondly – Kwale county executive member for Water Services, Urban Planning and Decentralized Units Hemed Mwabudzo has inherited a rotten water company, Kwale Water and Sewerage Company (KWAWASCO) with heavy debts including those of Kenya Power Company of Ksh15 million, Coast Water Board more than Ksh37 million and Staff salaries debt of Ksh4 million.Mwabudzo said that due to the debts Kenya Power has been disconnecting power regularly thus causing frequent water shortages.
The County Government has put in place some actions to improve the water supply to our County. a) They installed a new board of directors to oversee operations of the water company. The board is also in the process of carrying out staff audit to determine personnel requirements to run the company efficiently so as to increase revenue from water services. b) They installed two new and more powerful water pumps costing Ksh6.4 million to boost the water supply to Kwale town and its environs. c) They have inspected all water distributions stations in the County and identified some weaknesses related to old pumping machines like is the case in Msambweni and Vanga towns.
If there is a common agreement that fresh water is one of the most important live-essentials – then Kwale Government need to put more efforts and much more money into this burning issue.
Maybe we all should ask our local Ward Representative – so called MCA – why he spend millions in a trip to Singapore and not in fresh water !!!!