The three water companies in Nakuru County which are said to be making losses in their operations will be merged into one entity if a proposal by a member of the county assembly is endorsed.
Nominated MCA Joyce Anyiso said the companies – Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company, Nakuru Rural Water and Sanitation Service Company, and Naivasha Water, Sewerage and Sanitation Company – should be managed by one chief executive.
“These companies have become a big liability and are providing poor services and this is as a result of poor management and it is the high time they are merged and monitored by one chief executive officer to improve service delivery,” said Ms Anyiso.
Kaptembwo MCA and chairman of the Public Accounts and Investment Committee Peter Mwamba Kajwang said the companies lack strategic focus and are not results oriented.
“Nakuru Water and Sanitation Service Company is owed Sh168 million by debtors which include Sh39 million from the county government while [the] Naivasha company is owed Sh10 million by consumers,” said Mr Kajwang.
On Tuesday, during the debate on the financial statements of the Naivasha Water, Sewerage and Sanitation Company and Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company for the year ended June 30, 2015, the MCAs unanimously agreed that the companies are underperforming.
“These companies are in deep financial trouble and it is the high time the executive consolidates the management of these companies into one entity,” said Maiella Ward Rep Joseph Mungai Kamanu.
Mr Kamanu said there is no clear demarcation of boundaries for the water companies and this has made some of the wards like Maiella to suffer.
“My Ward is in Naivasha Sub-County but, interestingly, the water issues are handled by Nakuru Rural Water and Sanitation Services Company instead of Naivasha Water, Sewerage and Sanitation Company,” said Mr Kamanu.
He said the old debts owed to these companies by the defunct local authorities should not be used as a lame excuse to offer inefficient services.
Malewa MCA Josephat Githinji Murage said since the Public Accounts and Investment Committee has revealed that they lack proper leadership, a quick management fix should be instituted.
“To save these companies from further financial losses we need a total overhaul of the management,” said Mr Githinji.
Kivumbini MCA Wilbur Onyango Amara said if the assembly fails to take action, the companies will never come out of their deep financial problems.
“This assembly must rise to the occasion and adapt the recommendations of the Public Accounts and Investment Committee to improve service delivery to more than two million residents of Nakuru county who are suffering because of poor leadership,” said Mr Onyango.
Minority Leader Peter Wanjala Palanga, who is also the Olkaria MCA, said the three companies should be merged without further delay.
“There is poor revenue generation, massive water siphoning that cannot be accounted for and, as leaders in this county, we cannot afford to sit back and watch while things go wrong in the hands of poor managers. We urgently need a unified body to run water affairs in the county,” said Mr Palanga.
Nominated MCAs Isabella Makori and Rose Njoroge Gathoni said it is wrong for the companies to refuse to remit statutory deductions for employees who are retiring.