Water supply within the Lamu archipelago has finally been restored after seven days of acute shortage.
Lamu residents have been without water in their taps since Thursday last week after a dispute erupted between the Lamu Water and Sewerage Company Limited (Lawasco) and the Kenya Power company (KPLC) over an unpaid Sh3.6 million electricity bill.
The electricity distributor decided to cut power supply at the Lamu’s main pumping station in Lamu Town last week until Lawasco pays up.
But water supply was restored on Wednesday morning following the intervention of the Lamu County government and the county commissioner’s office which brought together officials from Lawasco and KPLC and agreed on how the unpaid bills will be cleared.
A spot check by the Nation early Wednesday morning established that water supply had indeed been restored as residents of Langoni, Gadeni, Mkomani, Jua Kali, Wiyoni, Kashmir, Bajuri and those in Shella Town were receiving it in their taps.
Mrs Fatma Athman told the Nation that water started flowing again from their taps at around 5am on Wednesday.
“Our taps have been dry since Thursday last week. We’re happy that water has started flowing again from our taps this morning at around 5am. The seven days of water shortage have been hell for us. We thank all those who made efforts to ensure water supply to Lamu is restored,” said Mrs Ali, a resident of Langoni.
In Mkomani, residents also confirmed that there is water in their taps.
“We’ve begun receiving water this morning though not in all places. We believe the problem will be completely addressed,” said Mr Sharif Badi.
Lawasco Managing Director Paul Wainaina however confirmed that KPLC had agreed to restore power connection to enable residents get water.
Mr Wainaina apologised to the residents over the one week water shortage and assured them that they will continue receiving the commodity as Lawasco and KPLC work out how to solve their existing dispute over electricity bills.
“First, I want to apologise to the Lamu people for the inconveniences caused as a result of the one week water shortage. We’ve had a fruitful discussion between us as Lawasco, KPLC, the Lamu County government led by Deputy Governor Abdulhakim Aboud, area MCA Yahya Ahmed Shee and the County Commissioner Irungu Macharia. We’ve been able to agree on some issues that led to the disconnections. I, however, want to inform our esteemed customers that water supply has fully been restored as we try to seek a long-term solution to the existing dispute between Lawasco and KPLC over electricity billing,” said Mr Wainaina.
Mkomani Ward MCA Yahya Shee said the county leadership will continue to provide the necessary assistance to ensure water is not disconnected again so that residents do not suffer unnecessarily.
“I want to thank the affected residents of Lamu for their patience, cooperation and understanding during the shutdown. Water has been fully restored. As county leadership, we will do all that we can to ensure there are no water disconnections again in future,” said Mr Shee.