Mt Kenya water abstraction licenses suspended for two weeks
Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has suspended all Mt. Kenya water abstraction licenses from rivers in the region for 14 days effective immediately.
Speaking in Kabaru Forest on Tuesday after an inspection of the situation of rivers in the county, Chelugui said those who had acquired licenses will have to reapply and get approval from the Nairobi office.
“The government is now going to have a multi agency approach that will involve different ministries to enforce the water regulation in the country even as steps to establish the volumes of water in the rivers commence,” he said.
Chelugui has said the Water Resources Authority must enforce the ban on river extraction and exercise vigilance to ensure that no water is taken out of the rivers until the volumes improve.
He further directed the relevant authorities to ensure that proper procedure is followed in the issuance of licenses for Mt. Kenya water abstraction.
In one of the abstraction,a huge irrigation taking place in the forest.I have ordered from today that all permitted and illegal abstraction be stopped forthwith to pave the way for further investigation in this serious matter. pic.twitter.com/j4TqohoeX5
— Simon Kiprono Chelugui (@CsChelugui) August 21, 2018
According to him, some government officers issued licenses fraudulently even as a section of farmers are also partly to blame for the drying up of rivers in the region.
He noted that there has been very little water flowing downstream despite the fact that the country recently experienced heavy rains.
Chelugui further stated that River Tana has over 70 intakes while Thigu River, a tributary for River Tana has 17 illegal abstractions.
He also accused some Kenya Forest Service officers of allowing farming inside forests, a move that has contributed to further draining of the rivers.