Give 25 per cent water revenue or stay away, Wa Iria tells counties

Wa Iria says he will block water flow to other counties as it is Murang'a's 'oil'.

Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, who risks a Sh5 million fine or three years in jail. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • The governor noted on Wednesday that water is the only natural resource from the county so they cannot allow others to sell it as residents go without it.

  • Wa Iria said money from the counties will see to it that Murang'a residents get the commodity.

  • The Governor announced that the assembly is in the process of formulating the County Water Act, on management of the commodity.

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Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has vowed to block the channelling of water from the county until others agree to remit 25 per cent of the revenue they will collect from it.

The governor noted on Wednesday that water is the only natural resource from the county so they cannot allow others to sell it as residents go without both the commodity and a "single penny" from the revenue.

'COUNTY OIL'

“Water is our oil. We saw residents of Turkana demand their fair share through demonstrations and picketing until the government listened to them," he said.

"We are not the exemption. We can’t be giving water to other counties for free when they sell it to residents,” he said, adding they would not be concerned if the residents were getting it for free.

Speaking at Kenol town where he met community volunteers, the county boss said Nairobi has over 1,000 swimming pools whose water is from Ndakaini while Murang’a's people face shortages that force them to it at exaggerated prices.

“Whenever there is warmth, people in Nairobi live in swimming pools like crocodiles while in Murang’a, we grapple with challenges. I will not allow that. If they don’t part with 25 per cent of the revenue they collect, I shall lead the people of Murang’a in blocking the water that goes to those counties."

NEW LAW

Wa Iria said money from the counties will see to it that Murang'a residents get the commodity. He said 70 per cent of the county's population lacks access to clean drinking water.

The Governor announced that the assembly is in the process of formulating the County Water Act, on management of the commodity.

“The assembly is drafting a law, which will encompass the views of members of public, on the management of water companies and give clear guidelines on why we shall benefit from water which goes to Kiambu and Nairobi counties,” he said.

In the law, he said, will be the free provision of the first 60 litres of water and the merger of water companies for operations to be centralised.

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