Kirinyaga county commences full takeover of water companies

County Government of Kirinyaga has commenced 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 90 days’ notice to comply with regulatory framework.

The Water Act 2016 says that ownership of the water service providers shall vest in county governments.

On Monday, shareholders of the Kirinyaga Water and Sanitation Company (Kiriwasco) endorsed a decision by the Board of Directors to had over the company to the county government.

In an extraordinary 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, Water and Sanitation 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 operations through accountability and oversight from the county government,” said Murimi.

Provisions of Section 77 of the Water Act 2016 and Part 2 of the Water Services Regulations 2021 gives counties full control of the water provision companies.

The Chief Officer 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 so that we are able to supply water quality water to all households in the county, The county government will increase our potential by supporting our ventures,” said Kihia.

He said that the board is committed to fast tracking the takeover process.

Speaking separately, Governor Anne Waiguru had hinted at reforms to streamline management of the company.

Waiguru said her administration is committed to ensure the company achieves her goal.

The governor further asked Member of the County Assembly (MCAs) to support her agenda of provision of cost effective and affordable quality water and sanitation services to the residents of Kirinyaga County.

She asked MCAs to team up and pull their ward-based funds together so as to implement mega water projects that cuts across their areas of representation.

“We are asking our MCAs to join hands and utilize their ward funds in implementing water projects that will serve many people,” Waiguru said.

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