, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – Newly re-elected Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa says he will dedicate his second term in office to eradicate cartels and illegal connections in the water sector.
Mr Majiwa stated that mismanagement by the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) was largely to blame for the current shortage of the precious commodity in the Kenyan capital.
He said that illegal connections had been allowed to flourish, disrupting the main water flow.
“As I begin this term of office I wish to promise residents of this city that I will be steadfast as I seek to tackle problems that bedevil our city. First on the agenda for the moment is the water crisis,” he said.
“We have discovered quite a number of anomalies that tend to disrupt water supply to the city have been addressed, and the water rationing in force is now being adhered to by the water company in order to improve flow to all residents.”
The Mayor urged Nairobi residents to use water sparingly in the face of the current shortage being experienced.
His sentiments come following revelations that the capacity of Ndaka-ini Dam, the main Nairobi water source was below normal.
During the Full Council Meeting last month, Mr Majiwa joined other councillors and expressed disappointment in the way the NWSC was run and at several intervals it degenerated into a shouting contest between them.
He alleged that officials of the water company are believed to have corruptly conspired with wealthy and influential people to divert water to private homes and farms at the expense of the standard supply lines.
For instance, investigations have found that 89 water connections initially meant for Nairobi have been supplying water to Kiambu, an agricultural district bordering the city.
The Mayor said that during a tour of Nairobi last Tuesday, he discovered many illegal connections that diverted water meant for the city.
"There are people out there who are enjoying treated water meant for residents and are using it to irrigate their crops at no cost."
PNU’s Mutunga Mutungi, who was Mr Majiwa’s main contender for the post, conceded defeat and said he was ready to work with Mr Majiwa in service delivery.
He claimed that some senior officers were being unfairly targeted for dismissal.
“It’s evident that in the workings of the council especially in the top management of the City Hall, there are certain divisions and that is what we were trying to rid the council of. This kind of conflict is the one that is affecting the rate of service delivery because there is low morale among the council workers,” he said.
Mr Majiwa retained the Nairobi Mayoral seat in an election that saw his ODM counterpart George Aladwa elected Deputy Mayor.
He beat Mr Mutungi by 48 votes to 46, while Mr Aladwa defeated the former deputy mayor John Njoroge by 54 votes to 34.
The three-hour exercise that was conducted at Council Chambers on Monday was uncharacteristically calm for Nairobi civic elections.