Governor Kuti deserves all blame for the water crisis
The constitution recognizes that access to safe and sufficient water is a basic human right. The same constitution also assigns responsibility for water supply and sanitation provision to the 47 established County Governments. Access to a safe, reliable and adequate water supply is a key ingredient in poverty reduction. It also constitutes an important element for socio-economic development. Water is life and it’s critical that any serious Government prioritizes on ensuring that each and every single citizen has access to clean water.
The current Governor Dr. Kuti had set out his main agenda on ensuring he brings an end to the chronic water problem in Isiolo. During his campaigns he spoke boldly about his intentions of spearheading efforts to allow each household get access to adequate and reliable water all year long. He outlined in his manifesto about his plan to improve access to domestic water from the current 45% to 70% within the first year of his administration. The Governor had a clear cut plan to ensure that both livestock and humans do not suffer again due to lack of water. The idea was epic and he seemed then to have a whole plan on how to go about it but a year down the line the same problem is still ongoing.
“The health, water, roads and food security agenda for our people remains very dear to me. The team members in these critical sectors must be prepared to get out of their comfort zone and go the extra mile,” roared the Governor during his inauguration. His speech was electrifying and the residents of Isiolo had a feeling that things would improve. In his speech he promised that within 100 days of his administration the water issue would be a problem of the past. “Modogashe people must get water and so should other areas that are thirsty,” reiterated the Governor. We are now in 2019 and Modogashe people are still thirsty just like most other parts of Isiolo.
The County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP 2018-2022) has highlighted a well detailed plan to dig boreholes and water pans, improve the status of current water points, and develop new water supply systems. The piece of document from which the County ought to draw up its Annual Development Plan (ADP) still remains a piece of paper that is yet to be effectively implemented. The water, Irrigation, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources docket has so far received money close to half a billion in the past financial year alone but is yet to show what it has done with the money. Malkagalla residents are currently trekking long distances in search of the precious commodity when they are sitting on the Garbatulla-Modogashe aquifer where water sits at about 70 meters from the ground level.
The North has been blessed with aquifers that have a lot of water and located just a few meters from the ground. The Merti aquifer is rich in underground water and runs into Wajir County, Isiolo-Nyambene aquifer that has a very high ground water potential, Garbatulla-Modogashe aquifer with a considerable amount of water and Kachuru-Kulamawe-Boji aquifer with a good potential of water. The County Government has on a number of occasions been sending water bowsers which only offer a temporary solution to a problem that can easily be solved permanently. The County is wasting millions with end of year party when residents do not have water to drink. The problem is not lack of resources but absence of ideas and plans to bring serious developments to the people.
Water is one of the agenda the Governor has set out in his tenure. A statement on the County’s website reads,
“Sink bore holes and construct water pans/dams and piping extensions for the supply of clean, fluoride free water for domestic and agricultural use. Construct water pans in arid areas.”
The Governor has on a number of occasions asked the people to judge him on the things he will do for them and up to date his scorecard reads zero. The County has so far received money in excess of Ksh. 4Bn but has little to show for it as both humans and livestock are going for days without water. The Governor owes its people to provide for them clean, reliable and adequate water and we can blame no one else but him when homes go days without the precious commodity.