Water Service Providers employees now want the water services function to be reverted to the national government to enhance service provision in the critical sector.
Through the Kenya Union of Water and Sewerage Employees (Kuwase), they accused governors of running down the institutions by employing their cronies and business partners in top management positions to the detriment of the public utilities.
“Some institutions are on their deathbed due to accumulated bills on electricity and outstanding salary arrears and allowances as well as failure to remit statutory deductions,” said Kuwase General Secretary Elijah Awach.
Speaking after a national governing council meeting at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu on Friday, Mr Awach appealed to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation and other regulatory bodies to intervene and salvage the dwindling sector.
“Some institutions like Garissa Water, Migori Water and Sibo Water and Sanitation companies are nearly collapsing due to mismanagement and lack of transparency and accountability,” Mr Awach said.
As the country approaches the 2022 General Election, he raised concerns that billions of public funds stand to be lost as governors look for cash to oil their campaigns.
The union, however, appealed to the over 20,000 workers in water and sanitation institutions to join trade unions to make it easy for negotiations for better terms and conditions of service.
“I urge the employers to allow their employees to join and participate in trade union activities,” he said.
Mr Awach accused some institutions of using and signing recognition agreements with irregular unions to create industrial disharmony in the sector.
Kenya Water Workers Association (Kewawa) president Charles Chitechi noted that the confusion has given cartels an opportunity to benefit at the expense of workers.
He called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to issue executive orders to the Auditor General to audit all water companies since devolution on all matters and share the report with the Senate and National Assembly.