Monday, July 28, 2008

Religious and incessant other noise - the th 31st reminder

It was interesting to read in KARA's latest newsletter that I got just now, that NEMA has got itself a new environmental police unit which is already cracking it's whip on offenders. What encouraging news! Only problem is, nowhere in the entire newsletter was their contact number/s given. And if they operate only in Nairobi (very likely), or the country as a whole.

Ironically, as I write this, the noise from MWA Hall urgently requires these environmental police's attention for they, as usual, are making their racket over the lunch hour/s. And as mentioned umpteen times before, this is happening in a residential area with one hospital right next door and another not too far away.

Our Sundays too, are spent listening to these various churches in the neighbourhood loudly conducting their 'services' all through the day. The only time we might get some peace and quiet is after 1.30 pm or 2.00 pm.

But, then of course, the neighbourhood mosque continues it's 5 daily prayers. These days, depending on the particular Imam's whim, it's either mercifully peaceful or extremely loud. It seems that there are at least 2 men there, who conduct prayers and one of them is offensively loud, when he has no need to be heard outside by the rest of the neighbourhood.

While I'm talking about the mosque in my neighbourhood, this religious noise, from other mosques all over town and the country at large, continues. I wonder what kind of 'torture' we are in for, during the holy month of Ramadhan which is coming in about a month's time...?

And what will the new police unit do about this? I am waiting for them to take action, pronto.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Re: The 174th reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED

Thanks you very much for these encouraging comments. We need them. And if only everybody out there in so-called 'service' was accountable and transparent we wouldn't be going through these difficult times, would we?

Salaams from an equally dreary and waterless Mombasa,

elijah Agevi wrote at 7:28 AM:

Thanks Razia for the updates and well done residents of Mombasa! Please keep it up. Let's all remain accountable and transparent in all our dealings at all times. If we all do this, this country will change for good.

Warm greeting from a cold Nairobi.

Re: Mombasa Water War is a battle of Political Supremacy

Hi, there!

Thanks for this further elaboration. It really helps.


elijah Agevi wrote on 23-Jul-08 6:33 PM:

Dear All,

I would like to fully associate myself with sentiments of Phyllis. It is extremely important for any lobbying network or group to remain objective all the time. It should never allow itself to "boxed" or to appear to siding with any warring party! Remain an "evidence based network" and people will take note of you otherwise you will be regarded as yet another name calling "gutter press" that nobody will pay attention to. I am sure this is not the position you would like to reduce youself. And yes let's continue correcting each other as we objectively focus on the key issues at hand and there are many! Have a solution orientated evening as we continue with the struggle.

Warm regards

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Re: Mombasa Water War is a battle of Political Supremacy

Hi, all!

Arthur, while I personally am quite agreed with you about the return of the water provision back in the hands of the Ministry, direct, don't you think that you've got your cart before the horse? The whole problem about water starts with the CWSB, whom you seem to be completely absolving of any hanky panky, though, they are the main guys who are supposed to lay the infrastructure, i.e. maintaining pumps, laying pipelines, etc., and are the ones who get all the lolly dolled out by the various funders.

How come you and your outfit are not asking them for an accounting of what they do with the funding they get as well as the amount they are paid by the MOWASCO for any water that is 'pumped' to them for distribution to us, the residents? It sounds very strange and vindictive of you as well as suspicious, that you keep harping on one company and one person in particular (is there a personal vendetta between you and Mr. Chitavi?), about money, though, you seem to be very averse in publicizing your two investigative sources' findings. Which two sources are these and what did they find?

If you remember, I wrote to you to let me know about this report about a week ago, but, you have not only not replied to my email but, have not even acknowledged it! Why?

While you're talking about transparency from others, could you please, also do the same with your allegations? Otherwise, you're beginning to sound like the very politicians that you are decrying....


ConsumerFirst Network wrote at 6:39 PM:


I am disturbed with what you mean civil. The issue of water may not need being civil because it is an issue of life and death. Whoever is involved in mismanaging the resource must not be protected under whatever the circumstances. When I predicted the failure of these commercial companies some people in the civil society laughed us off. I want to repeat that the companies have failed to project what the Kenya Government called the most reformed sector.

I am also disturbed that the water consortium instead agitating for the dissolution of the company - they are talking about the Board composition. If you are todate with the water debate in Kenya - I can assure you that as long as politics get on board, believe you me the issue will never cease to be a campaign tool.

As consumers we are guided by a principle that water is an entittlement and its access will only be gauranteed if the public is fully in control. And for that we call for the dissolution of the Mombasa Water Company and full return of NWCPC.


Re: Mombasa Water War is a battle of Political Supremacy

Well said, Phyllis. Thank you!


Phyllis Muema wrote:

Dear Athur,

I must state here that this dialogue on water on water and governance issues in mombasa need to recognize respect for people. I am ashamed that you can directly attack the MD for water Mr. Chitavi like this unless you have evidence of these, claims, i am writing on behalf of Mombasa Water Consortium to dissassociate ourselves and our strungle for good governance in the water sector with this type of claims and name calling. This is character assasination and We, the members of civil society in Mombasa are civil and do not engage with each other like this.

Please remove my name from your mailing list if this is the approach Consumer First Network takes.


Re: Mombasa Water War is a battle of Political Supremacy

While I agree with many of the points made below, I really do not believe in making attacks on people without proof.

I'm agreed 100% that there should be just one water body that the residents have to deal with and that the CWSB should be dumped. They don't seem to be doing their job of laying the infrastructure of providing the residents with water and they and their Board should also be thoroughly investigated and the whole outfit overhauled and any holder of a political office should be removed immediately except, of course, the Minister.

We would also appreciate it if our questionable Council was removed from having anything to do with water or sewage. As it is, they can hardly keep up with garbage collection!


ConsumerFirst Network wrote at 4:21 PM:

Fellow Consumers,

The directive by the Minister for Water and Irrigation, Hon Charity Ngilu, to the four Members of Parliament in Mombasa to agree on who should sit on the Board of Mombasa Water Company is a futile move. The Minister should know that the company is a cash cow to these MPs thus the wrangles and any agreement is not forseeable.

Complaints by a section of councillors that the Board was only constituted by people from one constituency is just but one side of the coin. The management of the Water Company revolves around a small clique of powerful business people in town. This is the same clique that funds the MPs and decides who should sit on the Company Board.

It is should also be noted that the current Managing Director a Mr. Chitavi who was brought to salvage the situation when the company board was last dissolved, is already sucked into this murky political war pitting a prominent Cabinet Minister and a first time Member of Parliament who enjoys support of some crooked business personalities in town.

Eng. Chitavi himself is under investigation for mismanagement of the water company's revenues by two distinct criminal investigation agencies and yet he is still in office as if nothing is going on.

Hon. Ngilu should continue to apply her residual ministerial powers to provide water services to consumers as provided for in the New Water Act 2002 section 67 and completely handover the management of water provision to the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation. Failure to do this will mean water services in town will be in the hands of politicians who already have begun looting from public coffers to fund their next general election (2012).

Water is a life issue that should not be exposed to crooked leadership like the one in the region. Let it be managed as per the guidelines provided for in the new Water Act 2002. The Minister should not also allow the MD, Eng Chitavi who is widely mentioned in corrupt dealings to continue serving while investigation on his dealings are going on.

Water is an entittlement and not a charity good. Consumers need it in quality and quantity. And noone should play God in providing it.

Arthur Achola
ConsumerFirst Network
Mombasa, Kenya.


Dear Phyllis,

Thanks for those further updates on what transpired, yesterday and who said what.

It's ironic that people like Hon. Mwahima, who has failed 'O' Levels is even in parliament and he even has the cheek to call people who question him and others like minded ones, 'children'. That's exactly what I was trying to tell the guy whom I met in the MD's office on Monday afternoon. That we are the ones who pay his salary and various other perks and therefore should remember that he's a 'servant' of the people - not the other way round.

When will these people ever learn this fact.....?

Like you, I'm very glad that Hon. Ngilu, read the current 'mood' of the residents and acted justly...., for once, Alhamdulillah.


Phyllis Muema wrote at 12:04 PM:

Dear Raziya,

As members of the civil society and aggrieved residents of Mombasa, its is actually saddening that Mombasa should remain the only city without a functional board. Failure by the Town Clerk and the Municipal Council entirely to recognize the provisions of the rules and the fact that we are in year 2008 where accountability of not just MONEY but also PROCESSES is critical. The citizens of this country are alert, thanks to the government for opening this democratic space where people who hold public offices must become accountable is now long overdue. The speeches given by the members of parliament who tried to down play this important petition are still living in those days. For Hon. Mwahima to call protesters 'children' was not just an abuse but also a display of ignorance on the current wave.

Thanks to Hon. Ngilu who understood the mood of mombasa citizens and put to a halt the 'big event'. The ministry is currently recognizing consumer voices and is working closely with consumers through the Water Action Groups to enhance accountability from the demand side and Mombasa policy and services providers need to be alert.


Religious and incessant other noise - the th 30th reminder

It was so very heartening to read on Page 35 of the Sunday Nation, 20th July 2008, that NEMA is at last fine tuning the various noises made all over the country. What utter relief!

Now, the only thing is to get it through our many law enforcers, to give it practical expression.

I am waiting for them to deal with the persistent noisy 'spiritual' gatherings that the Christians, the Muslims and many others have for various other reasons, everywhere making themselves pests to others.

And regarding the noise going further than 20 meters, wow! The noises they currently make goes far beyond their immediate surroundings.

The faster this law is 'enforced' the better for the sanity of the remaining public....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Re: Garbage Dump Sites In Mombasa

Assalamu alaikum, Muneer!

What you say is so very true. They NEVER walk their talk!!!

I too, don't know if the guy got paid for his 5 page 'speech', but, he definitely got a free lunch;) Also, he got the opportunity to mingle with the other 'important' and moneyed members of our society where he tried to do his public relations activities for the next elections, 5 years, hence.

Like all of our politicians, this one too, hasn't missed out on the opportunity to do 'campaigning' for his future and continued presence in politics. The only thing they do is spew out hot air with no substance, i.e. their words don't take the same walk, if at all!

These people really make so very SICK!


Muneer Khandwalla wrote at 12:24 PM:

Their speeches depend on the audiences, for years they have been serving as officials, what do we see for all those years. BTW, do they get paid for going to these forums?

On 19/07/2008, Raziya wrote:

Hi Vinay!

Boy, you're so very right and I loved the tongue in cheek way you've made your point. I was sent the attached speech by KARA made by our Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly at KARA's 9th Quarterly Luncheon.

Check below what KARA's Stephen Mutoro has to say about it....

The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) wrote on 18-Jul-08 12:08 PM:

Dear All,

We hereby attach a powerful speech ably delivered by Hon. Kenneth Marende, Speaker of the Kenya National Assembly, at the KARA AGM last evening. It is on the theme, "Role of Parliament on Enhancing Public Service Delivery". The speech is a must-read. We recommend that you share it with your mailing list. We encourage your feedback.

We appreciate those of you who made time for our luncheon held earlier in the day. At the risk of offending the rest, we would like to single out Royal Media Services Ltd for special commendation following its live transmission of the 9th Quarterly Luncheon proceedings on Citizen TV. We take this very opportunity to applaud Loresho South Residents Association, Kenya Red Cross, The Kenya Power and Lighting Company, Kenya Wildlife Service, Centre for Multiparty Democracy and Safaricom Limited for sponsoring corporate tables. Thank you

Stephen Mutoro
Chief Executive Officer
The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA)
Natu Court, Suite E-39, Ngong Rd/Ring Rd Kilimani Junction
P.O Box 1411-00100 GPO
Tel. 254-020-3874331, 3873828,
Telkom Wireless +254-020-2341515
Cellphones: +254725983445; +254733779585
KARA -"Together, We Will"
I Support "Amani Mitaani" - (Peace Within Neighbourhoods) Campaign

When you read the 5 pages of the attachment, one wonders what exactly the MP is trying to say and imply, for none of our so-called service providers really listen to us, the residents, do they? And when KARA talks about anything regarding neighbourhoods, they usually mean in relation to Nairobi and mostly up-country, if anywhere else. In fact, as I've previously suggested to Mr. Mutoro, they should change their name from Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA), to NARA - replace Kenya with Nairobi.

With regards to what our Hon. Speaker said..... not much of walking the talk, as usual.

Btw, not only does the non-action of our Council bring disease and other kinds of pests, human and otherwise, but, they also attract crows in large numbers. Have you noticed that we're, again, having a massive crow problem?

And with regards to my neighbourhood, the one you've mentioned in Kizingo, one of my neighbours has taken to running a very lucrative business of cooking food out in the open which, in turn, also attracts these flying pests. All this takes place right under the noses of the Council employees and ironically a stone's throw distance of an MP's palatial house as well as a Councillors! And none of these people do anything about it....

Then, our Speaker has the temerity to talk about service deliveries! What utter nonsense!!!

Thanks for sending me this write-up of yours,

Vinay - VISH Consultants wrote:

Dear Mr. Mutonya,

Having read your article in the Saturday Nation of 19th July titled Service Delivery, I feel that you have not done proper justice to either the Town Clerk or the Hon. Mayor.

Both these gentlemen are so competent and powerful that they have converted 2 residential areas into proper garbage dump sites (which apart from the stench, crows, rats and thousands of flies have attracted multitudes of human scavengers), almost right on to residents door steps. It seems that Public Health officials and the new Minister for Public Health are powerless to do anything about this.

One site is Ganjoni along the Archbishop Mackarious Rd. across the road from a nursing home. This dump is growing size everyday due to the efficiencies of the Town Clerk and the Hon. Mayor. The other is outside the Municipal flats in Kizingo near the Aga Khan Hospital. Both these sites have over 2000 residents living in the vicinity.

Maybe what they moved away from the main streets, they took into these residential areas so that disease and scum can spread more easily and effectively.

Once again our concern has been about foreigners and how they will percive us at the expence of our own people. Maybe we should urge the tourists to visit our residential areas and see how we live.

Maybe a complete and through investigative report into this might prove to be a better article to write in the newspaper about. Or better still, maybe we should just wait till 2030 and then (just like the coundil before the marathon last year) the authorities can go arresting residents for littering on their doorsteps.

Best Regards,
Concerned Resident.

Religious and incessant other noise - the 29th reminder

As I write this, the neighbourhood tiny church next to Aga Khan Hospital's ICU, is, like nearly everyday, making the most obnoxious racket! What this priest derives out of disturbing the whole neighbourhood including those critically ill at the hospital next door, I fail to understand.

He's visiting torture on everybody other than himself and as far as I am concerned, he is a very selfish person. One does not expect a 'gentleman of the collar' to be like him, but, he truly is!

It is also time for my own prayers (I am a Muslim), to be said and I perform mine in a quiet manner with nobody, but God, hearing me and this questionable character is disturbing me in his selfish quest to be seen to be worshiping with his equally questionable congregation.

I also tried calling our questionable cops, but, they are of the belief that they will be cursed to perdition if they will ask these noisy followers of 'religion', to do their worshiping without disturbing everybody around them. Doesn't matter that there's a NEMA law passed in 2005, regarding noise. They are very averse in applying it, it would seem.

And therefore only God Almighty can help us, the suffering public, in helping us to maintain our sanity with such 'officialdom' around us!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The 173rd reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED - Emailing: A Municipal worker burning the garbage and grass behind our block of flats, Two passers b

Please, find my comments below, after the captions of the pictures.....

But, before that, I've been reading the most interesting reports from the Water Consortium members (I am one of them), who had a meeting with the many water bodies, in May 2008. One of these, the Coast Water Services Board was not represented at this meeting and the actions or rather non-action of this board makes one wonder if the people populating it are really accountable to the people whom they are supposed to be 'serving'!

Yet, it is surprising that MOWASCO, and it's board are the only ones who are being targeted when the Ministry of Water and Irrigation finds that Mombasa residents don't get water and the situation instead of improving is getting unbearable.

From what I understand of the various duties of these over abundant bodies who guzzle our precious funds, are supposed to be doing, is that, the CWSB, are the main culprits as they are the ones who are supposed to be improving on the water infrastructure. Why is it that they are never questioned?

Then, our redoubtable Council..... The way they work....., or don't work has to be seen to be believed. These photographs are just a microcosm of their 'activities' which are completely environment unfriendly. This Council urgently needs to be overhauled. They are corrupt and totally unaccountable. There is one question I would like to ask them since they are persistently complaining about lack of funds. When was the last time this Council had it's accounts audited?

They (the Council), are also allowing unplanned structures all over the place as well as, boreholes being sunk without any control, everywhere. One example is my estate. There is the continues racket from one being sunk as I write this and this is because they missed water at the front of their building and so are trying, yet again (3rd time!), at the back. This involves various environmental issues, of course, not to mention the quality of the water when and IF, they get to it.

Now, 'enjoy' the comments, below....

The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:

A Municipal worker burning the garbage and grass behind our block of flats

This worker, the one with the cap, is busy clearing the hedge behind our flats and along which people throw garbage, too. This, he's set on fire with total impunity.

Two passers by engulfed in smoke...

A school kid and another man are walking past and inhaling the obnoxious fumes. This is interesting when one reads that just a day before, the Government applied a strict law on smokers of tobacco. So, while burning tobacco is a crime punishable by law, burning of garbage, etc., is not? Both these activities result in polluting our lungs and the environment. Therefore, why isn't action taken regarding this kind of pollution?

The 'resident' glue sniffer lolling against the truck park wall while the MCM worker collects branches and twigs to put into his mkokoteni

This glue sniffer has been given a place to sleep under our staircase by one of my neighbours. So, these neighbours have begun to change this estate, in which Council employees also reside, into a squatter area. All this happens under their very noses, yet, they have taken no action. Why?

The smoke from the garbage and bush burning finds a way into our flats despite the windows being closed!

This Council worker is collecting these branches and twigs and one wonders where he got his mkokoteni from, where he is putting them. And also what is he planning to do with what he has collected.... After all the neighbourhood 'kibanda' run by some more neighbours from downstairs use wood for cooking.... Therefore, is he planning to sell it to them or is unofficially doing work for them of collecting these for themselves?

The glue sniffer watching the clouds of smoke

This 'resident' glue sniffer is usually under the influence, anyway, and now he's 'entertaining' himself with the clouds of smoke.

And life and business continues as usual with none of the many 'organizations' mandated to do their work not doing anything to make a difference.

Will anything change in our lifetime? I wonder and doubt very much. And even if more 'bodies' are formed to supposedly alleviate our suffering, nothing will be done while our suffering will only increase. Therefore, why not simply our life and save precious funds by having only one 'body' charged with water delivery and infrastructure, for the residents to deal with?

Also, use these 'saved' funds by investing in a sea water desalination plant/s, one of the only viable solutions to Coast Province's rising water demands and climate change. Please, refer to my Water Petition of a couple of years ago where over 900 residents signed it.

Emailing: This truck continues it's business...., every day!

The truck park continues to exist despite it breaking numerous Municipal by-laws and it being on a road reserve.

What is strange is that it is allowed to exist after all these years and 3 changes in government! This plot/s of land was 'allocated' to Nisha Printers in the mid 1990s and other then the Council writing a cosmetic letter to them in 2003 to abate being a nuisance to the neighbourhood and which they insolently ignored, have continued with their activities without let all these years.

The neighbourhood also has the employees of the Council living in the staff flats in the estate. This is the irony of our local authorities. That despite, in part suffering from their own 'actions', they don't lift a finger in applying the law. Why?


This truck continues it's business...., every day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Religious and incessant other noise - the 28th reminder

I've just finished saying my own afternoon prayers, but, these were said with a lot of difficulty as is the case, everytime, I'm at home during the lunch hours. Also, while I was also praying, I was not disturbing ANYBODY with loud recitations. Therefore, I do not understand the two places - one, Christian which hires the MWA Hall every weekday at this time and the other my fellow Muslims in the mosque in the estate.

Both of these places and the people attending, don't have any need to be heard outside the confines of their respective buildings, but, they insist on conducting their prayers and singing at such volumes that they are invoking God's displeasure because they are disturbing others who are also (like me), trying to say their own prayers in their own way.

This continuous and incessant noises....., and they are noise for we cannot make out what they are saying even IF we wanted to listen to them which I and many others, don't! Add to this the fact that, the MWA Hall is right next to Aga Khan Hospital's ICU and therefore these 'worshipers' are most likely disturbing the critically ill, there, too.

Do these preachers and their followers really care about the effect they have on their surroundings? In the event they don't care, then, they are in the wrong 'job'! And if they do, then, why do they persist in disturbing the peace?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Harassment by neighbours!

Every single day, as long as I'm at home, I get no peace. My various immediate neighbours and their 'friends', make sure that they continue to harass me at every opportunity.

First, by making noise.

Second, by cooking food for selling outside while they use charcoal or wood and all the smoke gets into my flat.

Third, by continuously setting off my car alarm at every given opportunity and disappearing inside their downstairs flats or into the stairwell or running away.

This last, results in my car battery 'dying' and the next time I want to go out (it is not everyday that I need to go out), it won't start short of being pushed or using jump cables using another car's battery. They, somehow, in their sick minds, derive a lot of warped pleasure in inconveniencing me with this in particular.

I have no idea what is the cause of this, though. Why they are harassing me in the first place? So, it must be that they are hooligans and are training their children and others to be the same way - to have no respect for others or their property. Then, they profess to be Muslims, too.

The police also, when I reported the matter to the OCS, Njeru earlier in the week, while promising to do something about it, unfortunately, are known for being lazy and corrupt and short of somebody being killed, cannot rouse themselves to prevention of crimes. Even, a murder rarely gets much action from them.

Therefore, in this country we harbour crooks and thugs like the ones who are my neighbours, who know very well that nobody will do anything about my making a formal complaint about them and their continued harassment.

So, do we live in a country which abides by laws and really bothers about the safety of it's citizens or in a lawless one? I've reached the conclusion that it's the later where nobody really cares what happens....., unless one is really moneyed and/or a useless politician!

Very ashamed to be called a Kenyan and FED UP!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Emailing: The white truck which had left at about 7.00 pm came back escorting this monster with a pick-up following both with hazard lights on, The gu

There seems to be no end to the insolence of the owners of the truck park as well as our local authorities, if we can even call them, that.

I've written my comments below under the captions of the pictures attached to this email. One wonders when, if ever, something will be done about the various lawlessness that I've been writing about over the years. But, while I'm still around, I will keep on writing about them....

The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:

The white truck which had left at about 7.00 pm came back escorting this monster with a pick-up following both with hazard lights on

Suddenly at around 7.00 pm last night, the white truck after revving some, departed from the truck park in the wake of a white pick-up.

The guy in the white pickup saw me taking photos and promptly drove and parked behind the monster which had set off my car alarm

Then, about half an hour later the truck came back being driven at breakneck speed with the monstrosity following it, both of which set off my car alarm over and over again.

There was something wrong with it as it couldn't be driven into the truck park immediately...

While the truck entered the 'park' immediately that the watchman opened the gate, the 'monster', for some reason, couldn't and the two guys came out to fiddle around with it.

These two people are trying to fix it

I couldn't see what they were doing with the front of it, but, whatever it was that they were doing and while they were trying to figure things out, the 'monster' was not put off and everytime it revved, my car alarm went off. All this racket didn't bother them in the least.

Fixing whatever is stopping the monster from entering the truck park

They, at long last came up with a solution and it looked like they finally sorted the problem out.

No driver can be seen in the pick up

The driver of the pick-up was either one of the two people trying to fix the monster or he was staying out of sight while I was taking the pictures.

The revving and the resultant noise and exhaust smell has started this morning

The racket of revving and the giving off, of the exhaust fumes, re-started again, this morning...

The watchman on the left is keeping there guy behind the wheel of the other tractor company

This tractor is next to the one they were revving yesterday morning for quite a while. The one that the watchman is sitting on. Today, the other one is being started and revved.

Will we ever know peace in this neighbourhood, while these monstrosities are allowed to exist in our midst? And why is the Council breaking it's own by-laws? Plus, the fact, that this is/was a road reserve.

Then, we have the town planning engineer telling us that there is very little that can be done about traffic congestion problems on the island of Mombasa! How ironic! When it's the same outfit that he works for that is responsible for 'allocating' (like the above mentioned one), road reserves to private 'developers'!

As I said yesterday, this country has no law to speak of, anymore. If, one is there, then, it is applied selectively.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Emailing: One of the employees...., A customer from school..., Some adult customers..., The offensive tractor..., The fumes can be seen unlike the rac

The following attachments will give an idea about the noise and smoke that I, with other neighbours who have an objection, have to deal with every single day. Not to mention the racket that the mosque 5 times a day and the MWA Hall makes during the lunch time and over the weekends when it is hired for parties....., mostly weddings.

Please, find my further comments under the titles of the pictures, below...

One of the employees....

The eatery that one of my neighbours, has started and which is rapidly expanding, is having to employ many people some of whom persistently set off my car alarm as every given opportunity. What they get out of it other than harassment, is the question. And why would they want to harass me? And can't the employers (my neighbours who run that eatery), control their behaviour? Or is it with their full permission that they do this?

A customer from school...

A student from Mombasa Primary School who also with others, frequent this place over the lunch hour/s. But, while my neighbours run a business, they couldn't care less about how their customers behave. These kids from school are also instigated by another neighbour to persistently set off my car alarm every time they pass by it. In the end the battery runs down and the next time I have to use it, I have to either get it pushed started or get somebody to jump start it. Why?

Some adult customers...

Some of these adult customers are also no better than the younger ones. They, too, are perfectly capable of hitting the car to set off the alarm and disturbing not just me, but, the whole neighbourhood. These ones and the ones who run the eatery have a great objection to me taking their pictures. Have they ever thought about the objection I have when they continuously keep setting off the car alarm? Isn't their and the customers behaviour equally offensive to me? After all I'm not doing anything to them to warrant such an attitude, i.e., I'm not disturbing them in any way, so what is their problem?

The offensive tractor...

Then, every so often the truck park tractors and truck, etc., are revved at ear splitting levels, like this morning. It seems that this occurs at least once a week. While, the tractors seem to have stopped (for how long...?), for the time being, going out of the park, the same cannot be said of the lorry. This goes out every once in a while and comes back at any hour it pleases.

The fumes can be seen unlike the racket it's making

As the caption says, the noise being emitted have to be heard to be believed. When, they rev these things, it's very hard to be heard and one has to raise one's voice. Of course, if the phone rings then, having a conversation is something next to impossible, that is, if one can hear it ringing in the first place!

So, what kind of neighbourhood is this? And why isn't the Council to whom it belongs, i.e., the estate where we live, isn't taking some action? Is it because, they are the ones who have 'allocated' this parcel of land which is a road reserve to a private individual? Also, they are breaking their own by-laws by allowing such monstrosities in the middle of a residential area.

Hence, my assertion in yesterday's email, that we live in an extremely lawless country where the average citizen is hounded to unbelievable heights and nobody will take any action. Therefore, why do we have a government in the first place? To be paid disgustingly huge salaries and perks at the taxpayers expense for doing nothing?!

Can somebody give me an answer?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Religious and incessant other noise - the 27th reminder

Since Friday night the notorious MWA Hall has been hired for various purposes all of which emit the most unbelievable noise. It doesn't matter to the various people concerned that this hall is in a residential neighbourhood as well as right next to one hospital (Aga Khan), with another (Pandya), not too far away and within hearing distance.

Right now, there is a terribly and offensively loud Christian meeting going on at the place which goes on till nearly 2.00 pm every week day, not to mention even weekends, at times.

The neighbourhood mosque's Imam, too, seems to be completely without any sense. He still continues with his loud call (it can be heard way beyond this immediate estate), to prayer which is unjustified considering the other areas have their own mosques. The equally loud leading of prayers is also uncalled for as he is not leading the people outside the mosque in prayers even if the ones outside would like to follow him, it's not valid. So, why do these Imams or whoever is in making these policies, not, insist on having their loud speakers inside the mosque and not outside? Is it such a complicated reasoning that it is beyond their simple minds? And I challenge them to give me a single valid verse from the Holy Qur'an which they purport to recite umpteen times a day, or a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), where their practice would find justification. And if they can't and I'm sure they can't, then, they are questionable Muslims, and out to deliberately disturb others - be they Muslims or not.

Therefore, we who live in this area, have to contend with noise at all hours and weekends for us does not mean that we get any rest and quiet from the usual noisy, and lawless Kenyan life, either. In fact, as far as this neighbourhood is concerned, we have no law to speak of because, repeated calls to our cops, hardly gets any response or action.

Also, my equally lawless and thuggish neighbours who instigate the many 'customers' among whom are many school going thugs in the making, to repeatedly for no reason in particular, to set off my car alarm. Why and what kind of future 'citizens' are we producing and 'educating'? One wonders at the quality of this education.... They also claim to be Muslims who are supposed to be God fearing. So, why do they behave like this? Are they not afraid of being cursed for causing such inconveniences, continuous disturbance and spoiling the property of another neighbour? Their actions and behaviour would give the impression that they are not.

What a life we lead in this country!

Re: Stop Mombasa Water Woes - Madam Minister

It is solely due to the fact that CWSB is, on paper like you mention below, the one responsible for all or most of our woes, why haven't you targeted them instead of MOWASCO who are, again, on paper, the ones who are responsible for the delivery, NOT, the infrastructure?

Then, if the infrastructure is NOT there, how can our water be delivered, in the second place? Due to the infrastructure NOT being there or interfered with, aided and abetted by people who work in this sector (illegal connections are an example), we have a supply problem. All this is supposed to be done by CWSB, NOT, MOWASCO.

Hence, my repeated pleadings that the Ministry simplify our lives as consumers by having only one simple institution which is responsible for both infrastructure and supply. So, we are not sent on a wild goose chase when following up on our water woes. And our water providers can't play button, button who's got the button, with us.

Under the current 'structure', everybody we go to see, keeps passing the proverbial buck on to somebody else.

For example, the latest borehole being dug in our neighbourhood, despite me having rung and written about it, nobody in our bloated water sector has acted on it for it continues to be dug just meters away from a CDF funded one!

In the above case, whom would one take to account? A Mr. Ngubu, who is the local official in charge on behalf of the Water Resources Management Authority (he also gets my emails), does scant little regarding any of these issues that I've brought to his notice. In fact, after dilly dallying a little, he and his 'officials', promptly allow such things. I have at least one such example (another one), in my neighbourhood.

Also, talking about 'facts' that you should forward to the Minister. Please, go armed with your copy of my petition with the over 900 signatures, etc., and demand that it be acted on with immediate effect instead of them wasting precious funds and time in setting up a pipeline from Mzima which is a short term venture. For, the sources that feed all our fresh water springs and rivers and lakes, are soon going to dry up due to the water catchment areas getting deforested and the snow not forming higher up in the mountains.


atha achola wrote on Monday, 7th July 2008 at 10:27 AM:

Hi Raziya

Thanks for your comments. While it is true in paper that CWSD is responsible, the fact is they have been unable to measure up to the task. This is reason why the Ministry of Water had to intervene to reorganize the supply. If the CWSD was effectively incharge they would have addressed the management confusion which continue to dog Mowasco.

Facts: I did not include facts in that email as I have prepared a detailed memo based on independent findings filed by ConsumerFirst over the water management issue in Mombasa.

As for the infrastructure ownership and management; as at this moment our concern is in the supply. If caused by the infrastructure that can be addressed at a nother stage. Meanwhile wait to verify the facts we will include in a memo I will be forwarding to the minister on Thursday in Nairobi. You know she is suppose to be inaugurating the new board of MOWASCO perhaps this week; that should not happen without thorough public scrutiny

Should you have some facts that you would wish I include, please forward the same to me.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Re: Stop Mombasa Water Woes - Madam Minister

The following email while right in claiming that Mombasa residents and by extension the whole of Coast Province, has a mega water problem, makes claims which don't necessarily have any proof and therefore the writer should not involve all the residents of Mombasa in them!

First, MOWASCO, does not lay the foundations of the infrastructure of laying the pipes, etc. to the town. The people responsible for this are totally unavailable - the Coast Water (Dis)Services Board (CWSB), to answer various queries of the residents. One such example is the meeting that they had been invited to in June this year by the Water Consortium members of whom, I am one, and nobody from this questionable board showed up while some officials from MOWASCO, did and so did a couple from the Council, surprisingly.

The main people doing the job of building the infrastructure and THEN, supplying the MOWASCO with water to distribute to the residents, is the responsibility of the CWSB. The question is - why have all these 'officials' doing one job of supplying the residents with water? They are just eating into precious funds, by, claiming huge salaries and sitting allowances for the umpteen meetings that they are consistently holding in just one week!

Yes, re the collection of money is done by MOWASCO, too, from which they pay the CWSB for the water that they 'use'. In fact, they have a meter to show how much they should be paying CWSB at the end of every month.

Therefore, could the writer please, explain, in detail how and where he got all his information, from? I'm not disputing any of what he is telling us, but, in this age of transparency, isn't it in order that he explain how he reached all his conclusions?

Btw, those MPs, whom he tries to dress up as very 'clean' and who are trying to remove Mr. Kimunya from office probably have their own personal axes to grind and therefore has no bearing on this particular issue. It's all a matter of the pot calling the kettle black!


atha achola wrote on Saturday, 5th July 2008 at 8:08 PM:

Dear Consumers,

Mombasa water supply system is infected and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation seems to be enjoying it while Mombasa residents continue to suffer. Ever since water management in the City of Mombasa was transfered to now 'twice collapsed' Mombasa Water and Sewerage and Company (MOWASCO), consumers have not seen water peace.

Last year the Ministry of Water took over the management of water after dessolving Mowasco Board of Directors following mismanagement and corruption allegations. Consumers hoped then the situation would change to the better but things took a nother turn to the worst.

A Mr Chitavi the MD brought to salvage the situation has instead been sucked into the muddy corrupt dealings involving directing water revenues into personal accounts. At the moment there are two distinct investigative arms of the government; the Anti Corruption and CID investigating the MD over allegation of corruption and mismanagement yet 'A Mr Chitavi is enjoying the law of 'Impunity'. He is comfortably working as nothing is wrong.

Consumers now want the Minister, Hon Ngilu to act and ask the MD to step aside so as to allow investigations to carry on smoothly. We cannot keep paying for inefficiency. IF THERE WILL BE NO ACTION THEN just as MPs are planning to 'remove' Hon. Kimunya from office we shall also gather Mombasa water consumers to remove Chitavi from office. This is because the water supply is affected as no meaningful work to improve the situation is going on now.


Atha Achola

For Water Consumers

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The 172nd reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED

Well, it seems that the damage done by a truck that hit a water pipe in Chamgamwe, has been 'fixed', though, nothing has yet been done about our waterlessness in the many areas which never get water or it appears in a haphazard manner - now you see it, now you don't!

The neighbourhood (umpteenth), borehole - the one which is less than 20 meters from a CDF sponsored one, is still going on..... The racket from this activity goes on everyday and has been going on for at least two weeks, now. One wonders when they will, if they will, that is, strike water. Why are the various water bodies concerned, allowing this borehole to continue? Considering that it is not environmentally sound to dig/bore one within a kilometer's radius of an existing one? And there's one just a few meters away!

What a lawless and environmentally unfriendly lot we are! No one cares about what we do to our environment, as long as we get what we want (water!), by hook or by crook. Most of the times it's the later means. And the water providers couldn't care less either, since, starting from the Ministry level all the way down, they've abdicated their responsibility to provide and manage this resource in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Therefore, the residents of Coast Province will suffer the consequences of this short sightedness, in the near or not so far future. Despite there being an alternative to our water less predicament by investing in a desalination plant, our 'officials' are behaving like there is no other alternative and allow the most questionable practices by the residents who in turn cannot and do not seem to care about the results of their actions.

One of the reasons that residents have adopted this way of behaviour is because they get little or no action or sympathy from these so-called water officials. And should they even be 'available', the end result will be that the resident's waterless condition will not improve. In fact, it will get worse! My area of Kizingo is a case in point.

This lot (the water officials which includes the Ministry), couldn't care less that despite having sent them a petition nearly 2 years ago signed by over 900 residents and this being the 172nd 'reminder', NOTHING, seems to have changed over the years and we, despite paying monthly phantom water bills (those of us who still retain a meter), do not get even a drop of water coming through our pipes! Why should this be so? What are all these 'officials' and the Ministry doing about this? And why aren't they answering questions and open to the suggestions made in the petition?

And if they can't answer our questions, can they please resign as they are NOT capable of doing the job that we, the resident's have 'employed' them, for? We don't want our money going down the drain instead of the water, they are supposed to provide!