Isiolo residents want water before they register to vote - Daily Nation

We won’t register to vote unless we get water, residents of Kinna in Isiolo say

Thursday January 19 2017

Residents of Kinna in Isiolo County demonstrate

Residents of Kinna in Isiolo County demonstrate on January 19, 2017 over water shortage in the area. They have threatened to boycott the ongoing voter registration unless their plight is addressed. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Thirsty residents of Kinna in Isiolo County have threatened to boycott the ongoing mass voter registration if the government fails to address the water shortage being experienced in the area.

About 1,000 residents of Qurquchi and Cereal Board villages in the remote area Thursday demonstrated over lack of water in Kinna Ward saying it has affected 20,000 people.

They warned political leaders both from the national and county governments that they will not register to vote in the August election if they fail to address their plight.

The residents who stormed the DO’s office seeking explanation on the water shortage, said they have not been supplied with the commodity for almost two years, forcing women and children to trek for more than four kilometres in search of it.

Mr Hassan Bagaja, a resident, said more than Sh30 million has been spent by several non-governmental organisations and the government to purchase water tanks which are now dry.


Mr Bagaja accused the county government for neglect, saying five boreholes with enough water that can supply the whole town have no generators.

“Every Kenyan has a right to water. We have tried to seek [help] from our political leaders but nothing has been forthcoming.

“We want both the national and county governments to purchase the generators to solve the water shortage, failure to which we will not register as voters,” he cautioned.

Locals claimed that women who give birth at a nearby health centre are forced to carry water for bathing.

“A lot of women have had miscarriages caused by trekking for long distances in search of the commodity. There is also no adequate water to wash after birth,” said Ms Nasibo Denge.

She added that domestic quarrels have been reported in several homes as many women cannot fulfil their conjugal obligations as they are away from their husbands most of the times looking for water.

The locals, who have also threatened to hold protests next week if their plight is not addressed, said they fear o there might be an outbreak of diseases.