Sunday, April 19, 2009


Yes, this is a good letter and it is also typical of 'water officialdom' to charge for things that they had no hand in 'developing', i.e., the wells and boreholes all over town.

And as it mentions these were purportedly 'approved' by their own 'officials', so why the objection? And why should the people who got these dug pay further charges when these same, starting from the Ministry down to their many companies and boards they have given 'birth' to?

This is typical of this very unjust government and it's bloated cabinet. They have abdicated their duty to provide us with a basic human right and are further doing the same by charging us for water which they had no hand in providing.


Chris Dickenson wrote on 18-Apr-09 3:23 PM:

I thought this was a good letter. BUT....... There has to be a way to say to the Water Authority.

"You have a duty to supply us with clean fresh drinking water and you have failed to do so year after year after year. Mombasa Island Residents know why there is no water. It is because it has all leaked into the ground due to the miles of broken underground delivery pipes all around the Island. Broken underground pipes equals no water. The reason why you want to charge us a 'borehole fee' is because that is the only way residents can get access to what is our God given right. The problem is yours so fix it"


Water Day being celebrated worldwide this month Water is life to all living things: That is why Water Day is being celebrated worldwide this month.

And indeed as contained in our Bill of Rights, the citizens and / or wananchi have a right to clean water for their daily use Mombasa city and environs have not received regular and adequate water for some time.

At times taps run dry for weeks and weeks. But luckily and maybe for only short while, our main sources of water, Mzima Springs, Marere and Sabaki rivers have not dried up at any one moment. The shortage of water is due to poor infrastructure said to be obsolete which should have been replaced 50 years ago. Residents blame the town water company for the water crisis, as residents are forced to buy water from hawkers at exorbitant prices. In fact Mombasa Water Company has raised its tariffs but has failed in its duty to provide adequate water to residents. Recently, a Mombasa Water and Sewerage Company official, a Mr. Barack Otieno denied such claims, this is ridiculous as the problem has persisted and many reports to deal with the situation gather dust on shelves due to laxity in terms of implementation and lack of seriousness in addressing the interest of the residents of MOMBASA.

As a result of this persistent problem of lack of water, which has prevailed for a long time, stakeholders and residents of Mombasa and environs have reluctantly turned to boreholes and wells for water inspite of it being costly and unwholesome for human consumption. It is however noted with some degree of appreciation that World Bank and Coast Water Services Board are working together to address this perennial problem but the process, will no doubt, take time before funds are made available for work to commence.

Water problem has however taken another grave dimension. Water Resources Management Authority, the custodian of water in the country, require that existing boreholes and wells be legalized at a cost and monthly water extraction charges be paid to the Authority. The Authority does not seem to take note that its parent Ministry through District Water Officers had approved sinking of these boreholes and that the boreholes had been sunk by Authorized and Licensed Water drilling companies. To make matters worse the Director of Water, on whose behalf sinking of boreholes and wells had been authorized, has joined the fray insisting that legalization of boreholes and wells be done and requisite fee and monthly extraction charge be paid.

The Director of Water has quoted Provisions of Water Act 2002 to justify his assertion and warnings. This requirement does not give comfort to stakeholders who have been denied their basic human right of water. The least public would have expected from the Director of Water to do is to call for critical up to date analysis of water supply situation in Mombasa and environs before making his bewildering decision.

From the analysis the Director of Water would have learnt that water charges have recently been increased and that no water is flowing in our taps and that boreholes are not ideal sources of water for human consumption but since the agents mandated to provide water have failed, the stakeholders have no alternative but to sink boreholes and well for their survival. The Ministry for Water and Irrigation had previously issued instructions for all boreholes and wells in Mji wa Kale, to be sealed off because water from these sources was allegedly contaminated but the residents insisted that they would seal off their boreholes and wells only if they were supplied with adequate and wholesome water. The position has not changed.

The Water Resource Management Authority should seriously consider sensitizing stakeholders on its work. It should also give owners of existing boreholes and wells time to seal off, if they so wish or comply with the Provisions of the Water Act 2002.

Boreholes and water wells owners must not be made to suffer for omission and commission of others.

Lastly, unreliable water supply and scarcity and low satisfaction by customers with their interaction with existing water service providers and regulatory authorities which form the basis of the problem should be very well addressed. Citizens and in particular residents of Mombasa require increased access to water and its facilities thereof and improved maintenance of the same.

We must be serious with governance and management of natural resources like water which is so close to the people.

Z. K. Nderu
chairman Environment Trust of Kenya,Mombasa.

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