Thursday, January 22, 2009

The 189th reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED - Burst sewage pipe... and the Council, continues

I've received the following response from one of the Water Consortium members of which I'm, one....., unfortunately.

If you read it, you will get the impression that because this is Kenya which is ridden by bad politics, awful and domineering 'god fathers', including the most mismanaged local authority (Municipal Council), we, the residents have to forcibly put up with shoddy 'services'. Why should it be so?

Considering the French Govt., has recently coughed up millions of shillings to improve water and sanitation issues for the residents, here, why are the people concerned in the persons of the Council Engineer and his minions in the form of one called Abdul Majid not be held accountable?

We, the residents of this town (garbage dump?!), who pay rates and in particular this Council Estate, who pay hiked up rents to this Council (which does no maintenance), don't care if these 'officials' are paid their salaries on time by their 'employer', or not. They have a duty to perform which is the reason for their existence and the fact that they hold a 'job'. Why don't they do it? If they can't, can these people use the excuse that they haven't been paid (so the wider public knows what's really going on), and walk out of their offices till they are, please?

Will the the Minister for Local Authorities also make a full investigation on the Mombasa Municipal Council, please? We have one of the most corrupt, unaccountable and bloated council in the entire country, I think!

Unfortunately, this 'monstrosity' has also got involved in our water and sewage 'delivery'. Who allowed them to put their 'sticky' fingers in this sector? After all they have a disgusting and very visible record of non-garbage collection which their uncovered trucks usually re-distribute elsewhere on their supposed way to the town dumping site. Why allow such a hopeless 'case' to get involved elsewhere? They are totally incompetent.

As regards moving my tank up - this person is, I think, being sarcastic. If I could afford all the things he's talking about, I wouldn't be living in a Council flat in an estate which is more than half way into becoming a concrete slum!

Add to all these woes, we still don't have any water, but get phantom bills!

Grieves Insight wrote:


I have tried to analyse the behaviour of the officials you interacted with and have formed the following opinion;

1. Ms Miriam of the Municipal Council could have rightly reacted the way she did owing to the many frustrations that are within the Local Authority. You may have wanted her to act at your speed but at the Council things happen at their pace. Did you try to inquire if she had received her last month's salary? You could, may be, understood her reaction to your issue.

2. Eng. Mugo was quick enough. Good. No doubts that he doesn't have any salary arrears! Don't forget that MOWASCO still doesn't have a management board and in any case Mugo didn't act accordingly, you would have had nowhere to go.

3. Eng. Mazuri may have been honest by Kenyan standards. But who knows that his juniors whom he thought he would just order to come refused flatly and he could do nothing to them. Or still they are in salary arrears too and have powerful God fathers.

4. Abdul Majid had no business knowing your place! Your 'accent' was sending the wrong message...that you weren't likely to cough something.

Conclusion: Put your Underground tank at your house top. Pay more to force water up stairs but keep the health risk at least in waiting. Try to appreciate that this is Kenya where things just don't happen...until there is no way out.

Hassan Greeve


Not only don't we have water coming through our taps, but, thanks to the incompetent and lazy, completely at sea, Council, a burst sewage pipe in one of their estates remains unfixed. This is exposing the residents to untold inconveniences and unhealthy living conditions.

On Tuesday, 13th Jan 2009, the water vendor who brings me 'fresh' water from the water kiosk, while filling my underground water tank, informed me that there was raw sewage getting into the hole in which this water tank stands.

Therefore, I called the Municipal Council's housing manager, Ms. Miriam Moka, to let her know of the situation. She didn't want to have anything to do with it and tried to hedge shirking her responsibilities of activating the relevant department at the Council to deal with the problem. She, when asked, also could not provide me with the telephone contacts of the 'right' person/s.

So, yesterday morning I rang an official of the Coast Water Services Board, who in turn activated the Mombasa Water and Sewerage Company's Mr. Mugo. They, immediately sent over a team to look at the problem and solved as much of it as possible, i.e. what was relevant to them. I was, for once very impressed by their quick response and especially one called Mr. Mwamburi who went out of his way to call the Council's Deputy Engineer, Mr. Mazuri and tell him that the 'ball was now in their court' since in involves fixing a burst sewage pipe which is leaking raw sewage into the hole where my water tank stands.

He also provided me with his (Eng. Mazuri's), mobile number and advised me to call him immediately as well as after a couple of hours to remind him about the issue. I did what he suggested and also to introduce myself to the good engineer. All this took place in the presence of Mr. Mwamburi who was a witness to the first conversation. Eng. Mazuri promised me that he would send somebody over as soon as possible.

Later in the afternoon, I tried calling Eng. Mazuri again to remind him and his phone was switched off. So, I called the helpful Mr. Mwamburi from MOWASCO, again, who was a bit surprised as to why Eng. Mazuri didn't answer his phone. But, he provided me with another name and number. That of Mr. Abdul Majid at the Council who is supposed to be directly involved with such issues.

I at once called his number which he answered but, claimed that he couldn't hear what I was saying and cut the line off. I tried calling again and this time, while he could make out what I was saying said that I should go to the Council to sort this matter as he couldn't understand my accent. We were both talking English.

Subsequent calls to either of the above gentlemen went unanswered for the remainder of the afternoon. Therefore, I troubled Mr. Mwamburi, yet again, to inform him of the latest and though he was out of town at the time, he still tried calling them and then informing me that while Mr. Abdul Majid's phone had been switched off, he managed to talk to Eng. Mazuri who assured him that something would be done about it, though no time frame, or by what date.

This morning, I got a call from Mr. Abdul Majid asking me about the burst sewage pipe and it's location. While I was trying to explain to him the location, he behaved like he didn't even know the Nyerere Municipal Estate and sounded completely at sea. He even told me to come and get him from the Council to show him the exact location. This is very strange and ridiculous since this is a well known Council estate with the Council's own employees living in the staff flats here. The only thing he needed was my flat number.

While he told me that he would come there himself because I refused to play estate guide to him, he or his 'team' have still not appeared on the scene. Maybe, they have lost their way due to the many unplanned 'dwellings' that they (the Council), have allowed to be 'developed' here.....?!

I wonder when the Council will get it's act together and deal with this burst sewage pipe...., if ever? They have no ethics or morals as I've previously mentioned countless times.


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