Water shortage hits Vihiga County
19 March 2014, 17:20
Vihiga - Vihiga County residents have had a water shortage for the past three weeks due to unpaid electricity bills owed to the Kenya Power amounting to over KES 4 million.
Major institutions like hospitals, schools and colleges have been the worst hit with students and workers having to go for several kilometres in search of water in the streams due to the dry taps.
“The hospital has been running on borrowed water for several days now. It is just very difficult to operate in an environment where there is no free flow of water, and the county government needs address the issue immediately,” a worker at the Vihiga Hospital, who sought anonymity, said.
The Chief executive of Environment, Water and natural resources,Halima Abdi, blamed the unpaid bills for the shortage of water in the county, saying that the county treasury had delayed releasing funds.
“We have bills that we have not cleared, and that is why water supply in the county has stopped. We are working on the modalities to pay the bills so that our people can access water,” Abdi said.
News24 understands that several institutions were planning to go on the strike because of the water shortage and demonstrate against the water supplying company in the region, Amatsi Water Company.
However when contacted, Governor Moses Akaranga said that the bills had finally been cleared and that water supply was set to commence as usual.
He blamed Kenya Power for doubling the electricity rates and thus bringing exorbitant bills to the county government.
Akaranga said that the county government was in the process of installing solar power generators to help in the supply of water to the various institutions and the residents at large.
“Kenya Power is charging its electricity rates very expensively, and it is better for the county government to look for alternative ways of supplying water to the residents. We will use solar power generators,” he said.
He asked the residents to be patient as the county government works out the means of paying the debt so that electricity supply is re-installed.
Water shortage has been a major challenge in the county over the past years, with the water supplying company accumulating huge debts often, which prompted the Kenya Power to interrupt the electricity supply.
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