Sengwer community threatens to paralyse operations in Trans-Nzoia over unclean water

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 7 Dec, 2021 09:05 | 2 mins read
Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba. [PHOTO | FILE]
Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba. [PHOTO | FILE]
Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba. [PHOTO | FILE]

The Sengwer community living in Cherang’any constituency of Trans Nzoia County have threatened to paralyse operations of Nzoia Water Services company NZOWASCO, on what they term as company’s breach of memorandum of understanding signed between the county government of Trans Nzoia and the community.

Speaking exclusively to K24 Digital, one of the Sengwer community elders James Arap Chebii  said the community does not benefit from Kabolet water Project despite conserving the source of the water and the forest.

Chebii said it is very ironic that residents of Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and parts of Bungoma are benefitting from the valuable resource, and yet they don’t have clean and safe drinking water.

“Imagine we, the Sengwer people, despite having this multi-million project with us, we still drink unclean water fetched by our wives and girls from small streams. Such water is very dangerous to our wellbeing,” Chebii said.

Chebii said the elders are still consulting on their next cause of action if the company does not address their grievances within the shortest time possible.

“Elders just like other community members are running out of patience, and if our issues are not attended to as soon as possible, we are going to do the unthinkable that will shock many. Elders can just utter some words and the whole place will dry up,” Chebii warned.

His sentiments were echoed by Grace Koskei, a woman leader, who said the majority of women in their community are battling with back aches and other related complications attributed to carrying of water in their backs for many years.

“At first we thought the coming of this water company would relieve us from the routine burden of going downstream to fetch out. Little did we know we were duped by NZOWASCO. If you can ask the majority of these women, they will tell you pain relievers are their daily companions because their backs are ailing,” Koskei said.

She said before a Chinese company started operations at Kabolet Water point, the community was promised Kabolet Health Centre which was delivered, although it is not operational, power connection to all households which has not been done as well as construction of some learning institutions.

The community was also promised piped water to all the households. The promise is yet to be fulfilled.

John Njuguna, one of the constituency opinion leaders, asked Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba and NZOWASCO management to fulfil the promises so that water services in the three counties are not interfered with.

“Governor Khaemba please, Sengwer people are not second class citizens, they deserve services like other people of Trans Nzoia and Kenyans. Therefore, listen to their outcry and give them a solution before you hand over power to the next Governor:” Njuguna said.