The County Government of Kirinyaga has commenced the process of taking full ownership of water service providers in the county in compliance with an advisory from Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb).
The advisory dated April 6, 2023 had given all water service providers in the country a 90 days’ notice to comply with the regulatory framework. The Water Act 2016 says that ownership of the water service providers shall vest in county governments.
And on Monday, shareholders of the Kirinyaga Water and Sanitation Company (Kiriwasco) endorsed a decision by the Board of Directors to hand over the company to the county government.
In a hurriedly convened general meeting, the stakeholders resolved to change the status of Kiriwasco from a company limited by guarantee to a public company limited by shares.
Speaking during the meeting, County Water and Irrigation Chief Officer Peter Murimi said the takeover will help streamline management and enhance water supply and sanitation in the county.
“The takeover will ensure that there is efficiency in the company’s operations through accountability and oversight from the county government,” said Murimi.
He asserted that county governments are the function owners and shareholding of the water services providers is held by the devolved units in trust for the people.
Following the ratification of the takeover by the shareholders, the county government will now commence paper work for the transfer of shareholding at the Registrar of Companies.
Kiriwasco Managing Director Ephantus Maina said that water and sanitation are devolved functions and therefore changing the ownership of the water companies was inevitable.
“By the county government taking full ownership of Kiriwasco, we can be assured of increased efficiency in the management of the company while being able to develop the assets and oversee the management,” said Maina.
Kiriwasco Board Chairman James Kihia called on all stakeholders to support the takeover because it was made in their best interests.
“This move will enhance how we run the company while increasing our efficiency. We look forward for support from the county residents so that we are able to supply quality water to all households in the county. The county government will increase our potential by supporting our ventures,” said Kihia.
Kirinyaga Water and Sanitation Company is a Water Service Provider Company Limited by guarantee and was incorporated in the year 2006 under the Companies Act Cap 486 of the laws of Kenya.
Reporting by KNA