Kwale residents suffer thirst for third week

Wednesday June 19 2019

A resident stares at a dry tap in Kombani on

A resident stares at a dry tap in Kombani on June 19, 2019 as water shortage bites Kwale town for the third week in a row after power was cut at Marere Water Works over unpaid Sh5.7 million electricity bill. PHOTO | FADHILI FREDRICK | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FADHILI FREDRICK
By FADHILI FREDRICK
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Kwale town has been hit by a biting water shortage following power disconnection at Marere Water Works over unpaid electricity bills amounting to Sh5.7 million.

The residents have been forced to go without water for the past three weeks now.

Marere is the main source of water in the county as well as neighbouring Mombasa County.

Residents who talked to the Nation said that water vendors were making a kill out of the crisis by selling the liquid exorbitantly whose source would not be established.

Ms Rukia Omar from Kwale town pointed an accusing finger at the county government for doing little to address the situation.

"It is stressful to live in this town which has always been faced with water scarcity and frequent power outages. Marere Water Works is just a distance away but getting water has become a way of life," she said.

BUSINESSES CRIPPLED

Mr Duncan Odhiambo, who owns Kombani Junction restaurant, said the shortage has crippled his business.

He painted a picture of a helpless situation that has persisted for a long time with no end in sight.

“The situation is dire, the county must intervene and fix the water shortage for the sake of residents," he said, adding that they are currently buying a 20-litre jerrican for Sh100.

Another resident Mwero Salim said a health crisis is looming in the county as people have been forced to drink untreated water from rivers and wells.

Mr Salim pleaded with the county government to intervene before the crisis gets out of control.

"We risk contracting waterborne diseases in the area because we have been forced to drink contaminated water from streams," he said, adding that residents have been sharing drinking water with livestock, which has exposed them to risks of contracting diseases.