Taps run dry in Bureti as Bomet turns off supply over debt

Wednesday December 19 2018

Dry taps

Dry taps. A water crisis has hit Bureti Constituency in Kericho County after the Bomet County government disconnected supply of the precious commodity over a pending Sh21 million bill. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VITALIS KIMUTAI
By VITALIS KIMUTAI
More by this Author

A water crisis has hit Bureti Constituency in Kericho County after the Bomet County government disconnected supply of the precious commodity over a pending Sh21 million bill.

Taps ran dry on Tuesday evening in Kapkatet and Litein towns following the disconnection by Bomet Water Company over the pending eight-month bill.

The water company supplies an average of 4,000 cubic metres of water daily from Itare water treatment plant in Konoin Sub-County to Tililbei Water and Sanitation Company which is owned by the Kericho County government.

AGREEMENT

The two water companies and their respective county governments signed a bulk water supply agreement in March 2015 which details the obligations of each party and provides for a disconnection of supply by Bomet to Tililbei for non-payment of over three months’ bill.

“We have disconnected the supply following failure by Tililbei to pay Sh21,194,570 million accrued from April to November 2018. They have failed to honour repeated pledges to pay and demand notices which has led to our taking the drastic action,” said a source at the Bomet Water Company who declined be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

LAST PAYMENT

The last payment Tililbei remitted to Bomet Water Company was Sh5.2 million in May this year being payment for supply from January to March, which happened after repeated reminders from the supplier.

“Failure by Kericho County to remit the money to Bomet County has put us in a very awkward position and at loggerheads with our suppliers as we cannot meet our financial obligations especially salaries for water company staff, payment for water treatment chemicals, electricity, fittings, maintenance and general operations,” said the source.

MONEY NOT PAID

Mr Erick Siele, the acting managing director of Tililbei Water Company, confirmed that water supply had been disconnected over the delayed payment to Bomet Water Company.

“We are trying to sort out the issue right now as the county government of Kericho has not remitted the money to us so that we can pay Bomet County for the water supply,” said Mr Siele by telephone.

According to the current report by the Water Services Regulatory Board, Tililbei re-supplies the water to residents of Bureti Sub-County after getting the bulk supply from Bomet County and in turn collects over 82 percent of the billed revenues.