Kwale governor Fatuma Achani now wants the government to dissolve the Coast Water board.
Achani has accused the board of being unable to fairly serve the needs of the coastal people.
She blamed it for the frequent water shortage, unfair billing and paralyzation of good water services in Kwale.
“Mr. President Coast water is making the lives of Kwale people unbearable,” she said.
Achani alleged that the board is overbilling them for water they didn’t use.
She said water from Marere springs and Tiwi boreholes is pumped to Mombasa yet Kwale is paying for the bills.
The governor said the situation has resulted in huge bills and water shortage as Kwale residents spend weeks without water.
Marere springs are among the four main water sources in the coastal region. It originates from the Shimba hills national reserve in Matuga.
Others are Baricho well field in Kilifi, Mzima springs in Taita Taveta and Tiwi boreholes in Kwale.
After production, the water is treated and supplied within the four counties.
However, Achani said the coast water service board has failed to ensure a sustainable and equitable water supply in the region.
“The board has become incompetent, let it be disbanded and have our water,” she said.
Kwale has for the past years experienced constant water shortage despite efforts by the county to sink boreholes and construct dams.
Oftentimes, the residents have been complaining and protesting against the shortage of commodity threatening to attack the Marere water supply.
However, the coast water service board CEO Martin Tsuma denied all the allegations.
Tsuma said due to the prolonged drought water levels at Marere have reduced to more than 50 percent.
He said they had to introduce the rationing system to fairly serve water to Mombasa residents to harness the shortage.
“We agreed to supply water to Mombasa for 48 hours and the same to Kwale to sustain the supply as we look for a long-lasting solution,” he said.
Tsuma said in February the board also had a meeting with the county and Kwale water and sewage company officials and discussed how to improve the water services in the region.
He said the county promised to help strengthen the conservation of Shimba Hills National Reserve as a way of fighting drought.
Tsuma said the county also vowed to install a generator that will assist in supplying water from Marere to other parts of the county in the absence of electricity.
On the matter of excess billing, the CEO said the county should sought out the issue with the Water Services Regulatory Board since it is involved with the operation costs and billings.
He said Wasreb sets standards and enforces regulations that guide the sector and provide for financial sustainability of water Service Providers by allowing financing of operations, capital cost recovery and a return on capital that sustains services through ongoing investments.
Tsuma, however, said the county has had a challenge in settling balances and unable to pay half of its water bills.
He said the accumulated bills have interfered with maintenance and supply services.
Tsuma said the board is always forced to look for alternatives to keep the water services running.
He said processes are also ongoing to commissioning the Pemba dam at the border of Kinango and Matuga.
Tsuma said the dam will largely help in the supply of the crucial commodity and save the county from the extreme shortage.
He said the national government through the coast water board has implemented many beneficial water projects in Kwale.
Tsuma said dismantling the board will interfere with the implementation of cross-county water projects and cause more water problems in Kwale.
He said the board is looking forward to engaging Achani and Kwawasco officials to sort out differences and strengthen water services.
The coast water board, currently known as the Coast Water Works Development Agency was formed under the Water Act, 2016 and established through a Gazette Notice No.59 of 26th April 2019.
The former coast water board was established in 2004.
Its mandate was to increase water and sewerage coverage through informed innovation, sustainable, development and management of the associated infrastructure.