Residents of Mai Mahiu in Naivasha are up in arms over an acute shortage of water in the area which has been occasioned by poor management of a water project in the semi-arid division.
At the center of the dispute is a multi-million water project that was sponsored by US Televangelist TD Jakes in 2005 and has ended benefiting a few individuals.
As a result, peasant farmers from four villages of Gathima, Maralo, Githima, Kanairobi have threatened to stop its operations until all residents equally benefit.
Speaking after holding a peaceful demonstration, they warned of a rooming humanitarian crisis as they were trekking for over 20kms to get water despites pipes from the project criss-crossing their farms.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153
According to the community chairman Robert Njoroge, the project was meant to address the acute shortage of water in the area but had ended up benefitting a few individuals.
An emotional Njoroge pointed an accusing finger to the area MCA for the current impasse noting that he was among those who diverted the water to their homes and cronies.
“We are glad with the Televangelist who sponsored this project but our problem is that some people are swimming in the water as others die of thirst,” he said.
He called on Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui to intervene and end their suffering noting that only the powerful in the area had benefitted.
“The government has set aside Sh700m for water in the dry port and it’s sad that none of the villages around the multi-billion project have been considered,” he said.
Another farmer Peter Kinyanjui noted that the main objective of the project was to end the perennial water-clashes between members of the Maasai and Kikuyu communities.
He said that this had been achieved but self interest had seen majority of area residents go without water for over 14 years when the project was launched.
“The company involved in the construction of the SGR had promised to rehabilitate the stalled water-pump free of charge but the area MCA blocked this,” he said.
On her part, a mother of four Nancy Wacuka narrated their pain as they walked for kilometers in search of water for their families and livestock.
“We don’t have any other solution but to block the whole project as we cannot continue suffering as some few individuals get water and the majority suffer,” she said.
Efforts to get comment from the area MCA Stephen Ng’ethe were fruitless as calls to his mobile was switched off.