23 July 2003

Kenya: MPs Okay Sh1.9b for Water Ministry

Nairobi — Members passed a Motion for the withdrawal of Sh1.9 billion from the Consolidated Fund to run the Water Ministry this fiscal year.

Water Resources and Development Minister, Martha Karua, said priority will be given to existing projects before new ones are started.

She said the Water Apportionment Board will soon be replaced with the Water Regulatory Advisory Board to regulate water management.

She said services will be run by independent bodies appointed by local authorities.

The Minister, who was roundly praised by Members for the manner she had "steered the ministry" said communal bodies will also be started to manage water resources.

Mathioya MP Joseph Kamotho said water resources were vital and that bodies such as the Kenya Power and Lighting (KPLC) and Telkom Kenya should contribute to a fund to safeguard the environment.

Education Assistant Minister, Kilemi Mwiria, said those building houses should harvest rain water to alleviate shortages and increase supply.

Kilome MP, John Mutiso said water tariffs should be reviewed.

Environment Assistant Minister Wangari Mathai said people living near rivers, forests and water catchment areas should be moved and compensated.

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