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Water crisis raises health concerns

Source: Standard Digital News
Date:Updated Tuesday, January 29 2013 at 10:49 GMT+3
By James Omoro
ocals have not had water for eight days hence forced to get it from contaminated lake

Residents of Homa Bay town are now living in fear of water borne diseases following water shortage in the area for the last eight days.The water crisis was caused by failure of the South Nyanza Water Services Company Limited (SNWSC), which is responsible for supply of water in the area, to pay a power bill of Sh7 million.

Area residents have now been forced to fetch water from Lake Victoria, which is hyacinth infested.

“Many of us are suffering because of this water shortage but the most detrimental part of it is that it has forced us to consume this water regardless of its risks to human health,” said Kezia Akoth, a resident.

The Lake Victoria water, which is invaded by water hyacinth, is now on high demand.

According to the SNWSC’s Technical Manager George Okuthe, Kenya Power stopped their water supply about eight days ago.

Mr Okuthe said the bill had accumulated as the company was unable to clear it from its income.

“It became evident that the company is not able to settle the power bill since the income it generates from the water supply is less than the expenditure for the electricity bill alone,” he said.

Become rampant

He added that negotiations were going on between his office and that of Kenya Power to deal with the issue.

Okuthe appealed to the Director of the Ministry of Water to liaise with his Energy counterpart to come up with ways of curbing the water shortage that has become rampant in the town.
Homa Bay District Public Health Officer Josiah Bosire expressed concern over the looming health hazards and promised to arbitrate the two companies concerned.

“I have called the area DC so that we make KP and SNWS come to a consensus because the only solution to the looming health risks is provision of water,” Bosire said.

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