Amatsi on recovery path after Osotsi’s push (AWASCO) in Vihiga County

Amatsi Water Services Company (AWASCO) in Vihiga County is on the path to recovery following a sustained oversight effort by Senator Godfrey Osotsi to restructure its management.

The intense oversight is piling pressure on the need to prosecute former officials due to mismanagement and alleged misappropriation of funds.

This is after the Senate Committee on Special Funds and Public Investments that is chaired by Senator Osotsi pushed for the arrest and prosecution of former officials of the water company following accusations of running down the firm.

The Committee directed the local county government to initiate legal proceedings against the former officials of AWASCO to address potential misappropriation of public funds at the firm.

The Committee had through one of its sittings resolved that the former AWASCO managing director Collins Amuhaya and others should face legal action for playing a role in running down the water company.

The Committee also recommended that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) should investigate Amatsi company’s finances during Amuhaya’s tenure and submit it’s findings.

Governor Wilber Ottichilo’s administration was also directed to implement the task force report that was earlier sanctioned by the Committee.

The task force was chaired by Mr Diru Magomere, giving impetus to the Committee to push for restructuring of the water firm whose operations declined in the early 1990s.

Senator Osotsi called on the Governor to hasten the process in order to address the plight of thousands of residents who are in dire need of clean drinking water.

He however commended the county government for the efforts made to fix the mess at the water company.

Senator Osotsi says Senate lauds the county government’s progress on the steps taken to restructure Amatsi.

This, he says, shows that the residents will soon see the changes taking effect.

He adds that it is his duty as the senator of Vihiga to ensure the county’s finances are managed transparently and with the best interest of the people.

Senator Osotsi notes that he is committed to ensuring that the county’s leadership is accountable to the people it is serving.

When officials who were led by the Governor appeared before the Committee sometime last year, Senators sought clarification and answers regarding AWASCO’s financial statements and activities for financial years 2018/19, 2019/20, and 2020/21..

This was after the Auditor General raised queries over the management the water firm.

Senator Osotsi says that when he raised the issue it was found that there were breaches of the Public Audit Act, 2015, particularly the delayed submissions from Amatsi Company’s accounting officers.

A raft of changes were expected to help water users around the county who are occasionally forced to go days without water in their taps whenever electricity is disconnected due to unpaid bills.

AWASCO had been grappling with lack of capacity and that there were also technological gaps.

There have been management challenges since the firm took over the function of supplying water to the residents, according to the report by the task force.

Majority of the water schemes under AWASCO’s management are run in economically nonviable ways and not meeting their operational costs.

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