The Tana Water Services Board has ordered an audit of the cash-strapped Riamiatu Water project in Kabare ward, Kirinyaga County after it was hit by a financial crisis.
The project managers have admitted they are no longer able to maintain the facility because of the crisis.
Mag Mugambi, the project secretary, said the project had no bank account and the money they had been collecting from consumers could not be accounted for.
The crisis, he said, began early this year when the management failed to pay workers’ salaries. This was despite the fact it had 44,000 registered consumers who paid Sh200 each per month.
“As at now, we cannot even afford to repair the many pipes that have burst along the main pipeline. That is why most of our consumers have been without water since January,” the official told the press.
The board’s Chief Executive Officer, Moses Naivasha, said yesterday he had received numerous complaints from consumers who had resorted to fetching water from nearby rivers and streams.
“In order for my board to be able to understand the magnitude of the problem the multi-million-shilling project is faced with, I have ordered an urgent audit,” he said.
The consumers are also urging the county government to join efforts to unravel the mystery of the Sh40 million project they claimed had been run down by the management led by chairman Maricho Gathumbi, who took office in 2012.
The project became operational in 2007.
“Before Maricho and his team took over the project from technicians who were on secondment from Tana Water Services Board, everything was fine,” claimed Caroline Wanja, a consumer.
Mr Maricho did not answer phone calls or respond to text messages when The Standard contacted him for comment yesterday.