Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has unveiled a special police unit to provide security to critical water infrastructure in the country.
The Water Police Unit (WPU) will mainly be tasked with providing 24-hour protection for assets and other resources for the Ministry of Water while responding to “emerging security dynamics”.
The new police unit is drawn from the Administration police’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU).
CS Kindiki said the move was informed by revelation by the Ministry of Water that up to Sh10.6 billion is lost yearly on non-revenue water.
“Upon deliberation by the Ministry of Water and the NPS, a need was identified to provide armed security and protection to critical water facilities to avert criminal activities that may greatly derail water resources in up to 34 counties under the water works development agencies,” Kindiki said.
The Ministry cited vandalism, illegal connections, and corruption as the leading causes.
The government has now gazetted all water resources in the country as part of the critical infrastructure that falls under the protected areas Act.
This means one will need to seek permission or clearance from relevant authorities to access water resources such as dams, and reservoirs among others.
“Going forward, it is important for the members of the public to familiarize themselves with the implications of this gazettement so that they avoid accessing these facilities without clearance,” CS Kindiki cautioned.
Kindiki said the law provides for special protection and procedures for the removal of persons who might be found in such places illegally.