12 February 2019

Kenya: Why Marsabit Residents Served Their Leaders With Dirty Bottled Water

Residents of a village in Marsabit served dirty water to leaders to protest a decision by county officials to prioritize formation of a municipality board instead of giving them access to clean water.

Senator Godana Hargura, Speaker Matthew Loltome, Karare South MCA Asunta Galgotelli among officials from the executive had gone to Karare Ward to listen to views on the formation of a municipal board. The boards are funded by the World Bank and aim to improve infrastructure in counties.

But a section of Karare Ward women took their local leaders aback when they blasted their way to the high table with bottles full of muddied water and served the political and administrative leaders who were in attendance.

They then demanded that the county stop discussion on municipal boards and instead give them water.

Speaking to the Daily Nation by phone, Karare South MCA Asunta Galgotelli admitted that the residents served dirty water in protest.

PIPED WATER

The Ward rep further clarified that the residents wanted piped water and registration of parcels of lands in Laisamis Sub-county to be prioritized before they could back the municipality plans.

"I think we as the leaders ought not to be blamed for the lack of understanding by people who are un-receptive to transformation and change. The county assembly has always sought the opinion of the residents through public participation forums on any bills to be tabled on the assembly," Ms Galgotelli said.

The county government has been using the political and administrative leaders from Randile and Samburu communities to woo their people to support the proposed plans of up-scaling Marsabit Town into a municipality.

Residents of Laisamis Sub-county have adamantly stated their position against the inclusion of Karare ward in the Municipality terming it as a subversion of interests and misplaced priorities on the part of the county government.

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

Locals complained that Laisamis Sub-county and Karare ward have been left behind in the development projects as they currently depend on a dirty earth dam for domestic water.

Attempts by Daily Nation to get comments from other leaders who were in attendance of the meeting like Marsabit County Senator Hargura and Speaker Loltome were futile as they did not pick our calls.

However, the meeting went on despite the intriguing experience as the locals were calmed down by Senator Hargura and Mr Loltome.

The proposed Marsabit Municipality is expected to include Sagante-Jaldesa, Saku and Karare wards.

Forty-five counties are expected to benefit from World Bank funding for infrastructure development through establishment of municipal boards.

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