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Water Board campaigns for power to prosecute

27 March 2012, 17:06 Alloys Musyoka

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The National Water Appeal Board wants the government to be given constitutional powers to prosecute criminals in the water sector around the country.

Currently the Board only deals with disputes in water permitting systems, disputes in water services regulation, disputes in water policy decision,disputes in customer relation and other disputes arising from the water reform process.

But the board wants the government to give it powers to prosecute all criminal cases arising from the water sector.

According to the Water Appeal Board national Chairman Mr.John Musyoka, if the Board is given mandate to prosecute criminals committing crimes in the water sector, many cases arising from the sector can be reduced.

Speaking in Malindi after attending a one day Water Appeal Board workshop at one of Malindi Hotel on Monday, Mr. Musyoka said cases of extortion,vandalism and stealing of water equipment’s can be addressed by the Board if they are given the mandate by government to prosecute.

'We have been here with Hoteliers, locals, water service providers, and leaders of small water boards and Rural Water Users Association trying to inform them the existence of the Water Appeal Board and how we solve water cases," he noted.

The Water Appeal Board was sensitizing Kilifi county locals on the existence of the Board and their functions.

 “Currently we deal with civic issues only where we only hear and determine disputes of permitting, licensing, policy level decision, and any other disputes in the water sector.But now we want the government to give us powers to prosecute the criminals themselves,” he said.

He said the Board is the only Board mandated in water dispute resolution in the water sector around the country.

Mr. Musyoka said that the Board receives 6 to 8 cases of water disputes per month noting that most of the cases are overcharging of customers and extortion of money as well from customers to avoid being cut off from water service.

He however urged all parties involved in water sector to respect the law.

“Both parties should adhere to the rules and regulations of the water sector. I mean the service provider and the consumers no one is above the law,” he noted.

The chairman however said the some counties will have to cluster in order to provide water to their people in their respective regions.

“There are some areas which do not have water sources and so they will have to get it from their neighbors,” he said.

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