Don’t politicise water issues, warns Uhuru

President urges sharing of resource amid tussle by Nairobi, Murang’a counties over Ndakaini Dam supply

David Ndolo  and Oliver Musembi

President Uhuru Kenyatta over the weekend waded into the controversy pitting Nairobi and Murang’a counties over water supply.

He cautioned politicians against using the issue for political mileage, adding that water is a natural resource which should not be politicised. 

 Uhuru said the objective to improve the lives of all Kenyans cannot be achieved if there is disunity among political leaders.

 “Water is a natural resource from God. We should come together and share the resource for the benefit of all Kenyans,” he said.

 Speaking when he joined Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and hundreds of residents at Uhuru market in Makadara constituency for the Nairobi monthly clean-up exercise on Saturday, Uhuru also warned millers that the government would take action against them if they refused to lower maize flour prices to the recommended price. 

            Taking sides

Meanwhile, Murang’a leaders of community water societies and residents have supported Governor Mwangi Wa Iria in his efforts to have a levy charged by the county for its water resources.

Addressing the press at Jogoo Kimakia Hotel at the weekend, the community water officials led by Makuyu, Kimorori, Wempa Boreholes Association chairman Andrew Thuo told Sonko to keep off the Ndakaini Dam water issue.

“Sonko should stop intimidating our governor whom we support fully in his efforts to introduce a 25 per cent levy for water from the dam, which is consumed in Nairobi and Kiambu counties,” he said.

He said Sonko’s assertion that the Nairobi owns Ndakaini Dam and that its title deed is in their custody leaves a lot to be desired as there were no devolved units when the reservoir was constructed.

“We are fully behind Wa Iria, who is speaking and acting on behalf of Murang’a residents,” he said.

The water association officials have also accused Water and Sanitation Cabinet secretary Simon Chelugui of taking sides in the water wrangles for recently saying the dam was bought by the Nairobi City County Water and Sewerage Company, which compensated landowners, thus making the reservoir its property.

Chelugui warned that if Murang’a leadership continues to interfere with water management and provision, it could stall ongoing and new projects worth Sh45 billion.

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