Water shortage hits Mombasa and Kilifi as providers wrangle over debts

Water shortage hits Mombasa and Kilifi as providers wrangle over debts

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Long lines of water Jericans as water shortage hits Kilifi and Mombasa.PHOTO/FILE

Thousands of residents in Kilifi and Mombasa counties have gone without water for the past four days after Coast Water Service Board disconnected the main water pumping machines at Baricho water station.

The Water Board disconnected water last Thursday over accumulative debts of ksh. 288 million owed  to them by the two counties’ water and sewerage companies; Kilifi Water and Sewerage Company (KIMAWASCO) and Malindi Water and Sewerage Company (MAWASCO).

Kilifi county executive officer in charge of water, forest and natural resource Kiringi Mwachitu said the situation is becoming worse as locals have been forced to use unclean water from boreholes and wells.

“The shut down has crippled water supply to almost the whole County and some parts of Mombasa county. The decision has affected our people badly.” said Mwachitu

Mwachitu said the counties were in the process of organizing a crisis meeting with both directors of the Kilifi Water and Sewerage Company (KIMAWASCO) and the Malindi Water and Sewerage Company (MAWASCO) to find out the exact amount that needs to be paid.

He however confirmed that further consultations over the accrued bills have been going on and accused Coast Water Services Board of shutting down pumping machines without issuing a notice to the water companies.

“We shall be forced to seek a legal address and possible get a court order if there is no solution so that there can be a quick reinstating of the water supply,” he added.

Speaking on phone acting managing director of Coast Water Services Board David Kanui confirmed that the shutdown was inevitable after the companies showed no sign of settling their bills.

Mr Kanui said “The companies do not tell the truth”, the two companies had refused to clear the Sh288 million debt something that sparked it closure.

“They have a debt of Sh288 million which they have to pay but they have remained mum over the same.” He added

He said at one time, their machines were about to be auctioned because of debts and that he would not risk anymore.

“We shall only switch on our machines at the Baricho main water line if they pay,” he articulated.

MAWASCO Managing director Michael Kingi however said the company doesn’t owe the water board any debt.

According to him the currently bill of Sh14 million which is not connected to the accrued bills was paid last week and the company has no other pending bills.

“We have no other debt apart from the recent one a mounting to Sh14 million which was paid to Coast Water Service Board last Monday,” said Kingi.

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