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35 arrested in city crackdown on illegal water connections

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By FAITH NYAMAI
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More than 35 vendors have been arrested due to illegal water connections over the last seven days in a crackdown by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company.

Managing Director Nahashon Muguna said on Tuesday that the operation, in collaboration with the county, was taking place in all the 17 sub-counties in the capital.

Governor Mike Sonko ordered the exercise and the pursuit of legal action against those apprehended.

The crackdown is meant to end increasing cases of illegal connections that have resulted in water shortages in a number of estates.

“We will sustain the war on water cartels and those diverting piped water for personal use. We will also disconnect the illegal connections and arrest those responsible,” said Mr Muguna..

He warned that car washes will no longer be operated along roads since most of them have illegal water connections.

“I’m appealing to all Nairobi residents to apply for the connections and avoid using cartels to get water through diversions. This denies paying residents the commodity,” he said.

Most of those found diverting piped water have been arraigned and charged.

Earlier in December, Mr Sonko announced a Sh300,000 cash reward for anyone who will help the county identify those behind the cartels.

The cartels have been diverting the water to private vendors by disconnecting pipes in Nairobi estates.

The governor also offered a Sh10,000 cash reward for anyone who reports county officials colluding with the cartels in the diversions.

“It’s apparent that the shortages in many parts of Nairobi are as a result of sabotage by cartels whose days are now numbered. We will find them,” he said.

During the 2016-2017 financial year, Nairobi recorded a loss of over Sh1 billion due to illegal water connections, leakage and other wastage.

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