Looming water crisis after blockage of river flow in Mathira

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022 04:39 | By
Looming water crisis after blockage of river flow in Mathira
Looming water crisis after blockage of river flow in Mathira. PHOTO/Courtesy

An unknown number of aquatic lives have been lost and over 10,000 lives threatened following a total blockage of a river flow in Mathira Constituency.

The blockage has affected the said lives in 10 kilometres stretch of the river where water has been stopped from flowing.

The affected users reside in Gatei, Kanjuri, Giakaibii, Ihwagi, Ndumanu, Kariko, Mahiga-ini and Gathehu villages.This consequently led to an eruption of a dispute between the said water users and a water providing company.

The furious residents took it upon themselves to destroy the intake by pipes.

While expressing their rage, the users accused Mathira Water and Sanitation Company (MAWASCO) of absolutely abstracting all water from the river then holding it in a dam before releasing it to their pay customers.

Company management

Simon Weru, a victim said that the abstraction has left them with no water to use even for the very basic domestic needs.

“We have suffered for eight months and we can no longer allow this to continue and the company Management has been ignoring us every time we approach them for a solution,” he said.

However, the company Managing Director David Gathogo refuted claims that they have drained the river to serve their interests.

Gathogo claimed that there would still be meaningful water flow in the river had it not been the work of 129 licensed and unlicensed abstractors upstream.

He said that their action at Ragati dam intake is meant to sustain water supply to their customers in both urban and rural schemes but not to deny any one a right to water.

“We have done this to prioritise water users that depend on us. You should also note that water levels in this river have gone down due to the prolonged drought,” he said.

Key institutions, he said, such as hospitals and schools within Karatina town that rely on their services, would adversely affected if their intake is interfered with.

The MD claimed that he has already attempted with no success to have the matter addressed by the relevant authorities.

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