The Star (Nairobi)

21 June 2012

Kenya: Taita Taveta Residents Thirsty

AN acute water shortage has hit several parts of Taita Taveta county for the past three months. The shortage has crippled businesses especially in the hotel industry and other public institutions.

Residents interviewed by the Star blamed the Taita Taveta Water and Sewerage company for failing to supply them with water despite huge water resources in the county.

The most affected areas include Mwatate town and its environs, Kasighau, Voi town, Paranga, Kishushe, Maungu, Tausa among others. Ezra Mdamu, a Kasighau resident, said they are now forced to walk long distances in search of water. "The situation is so worse that people are risking their lives walking 40 kilometres to Bungule area to fetch water. The villagers from Rukanga, Kitege and Kisimenyi spend most of their time searching for water. They cannot do any other productive thing," he said.

Mdamu wondered why water from Mzima is supplied to Mombasa when the local population is thirsty. "This is an injustice to the Taita Taveta people who are suffering yet the pipe supplying water to Mombasa passes in their farms," he said Mwatate town residents said they are now forced to buy water. "We are buying a 20 litre jerrycan at Sh50 at a time when the economy is very bad," Christopher Mwambingu, a local civil society activist, said. In some areas the residents were fetching untreated water from bore halls.

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