, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – The Athi Water Services Board (AWSB) and the Water Services Regulatory Board have set out to address the current stalemate relating to the appointment of directors to the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) saying it will not hamper the selection process.
AWSB Chair Reuben Ndolo on Wednesday said the regulatory body’s mandate was to ensure that due process was followed while appointing new directors to replace the current ones whose term ends on April 30.
Mr Ndolo noted that NCWSC had in the recent past been unable to hold meetings due to boycotts by some board members (representing the City Council of Nairobi and other stakeholders). This, he said, raised serious concerns about NCWSC’s governance structure.
“Athi Water Board is not interested in sitting in the Board of Directors of NCWSC but is only managing the process to bring about efficiency, transparency and accountability in the provision of water to the residents of Nairobi and improve service management,” he said.
AWSB Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Mwangi said there were no ill feelings between the NCC and the regulatory body instead arguing that the council wanted to run the course of choosing directors. AWSB could however not establish whether the root cause of the boycotts had been resolved.
“They want to manage this process of the company and we are saying it is good to involve stakeholders in the selection of directors. We have no differences with them (the NCC); it is only that we need to make sure that the stakeholders are properly represented in the management of Nairobi Water Company and reduce the number of council representation from five to two in accordance with the guidelines,” he said.
Eng Mwangi also noted that parts of Nairobi continued experiencing water rationing despite the onset of the rainy season. He explained that once works on Sasumua dam were concluded (scheduled for October) then the city’s water capacity would be expanded and water rationing would reduce.
Eng Mwangi attributed the continuing rations to leaking water pipes which caused wastage and double water consumption rates in the city.
“There is a huge gap between the demand and supply of water. What we have done to alleviate this is to optimise the existing installed capacity. We are almost 15 years behind the development plan. The population which was meant to be served by Ndakaini dam was about 1.5 to two million; we have doubled this population,” he said.
Eng Mwangi added that the board was also installing a new pipe network into the city to beat water rationing and that it had embarked on a massive replacement of broken water pipes in the city.
“We are also doing lines to bring in additional water to Nairobi from Githunguri to Gigiri. The contract is ongoing and is expected to be complete by next year,” he said.
Eng Mwangi further asked Nairobi residents to conserve and manage water, adding that it would help ensure the city had enough water to last up to the year 2015.
At the same time, Mr Ndolo, added that the regulatory body had mobilised about Sh8 billion for the rehabilitation and extension of water and sewerage infrastructure in the city and its environs. He called upon the entire water services team to adequately manage the funds and to use them for their rightful purpose.
“These funds comprise of loans from the World Bank, the French Development Agency, the African Development Bank and other bilateral donors. To ensure the full repayment of these loans it is imperative that all agents of AWSB comply with the law and the applicable standards and guidelines,” he said.