Residents of Akiriamasit village in Malaba Central Ward in Teso North will soon benefit from a Sh700 million sewer project funded by the Lake Victoria North Water services Board and the African Development Bank.
The breakthrough follows a series of consultative meetings involving elected leaders,county and national government officials, Lake Victoria North Water Service Board members, the Akiriamasit community representatives, the project consultant and other stakeholders at the DIDC Hall in Amagoro.
Last week, a meeting attended by Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong at Akiriamasit primary school turned into a shouting match with residents vehemently expressing their displeasure against the project that requires over 33 acres of land.
The residents had however earlier opposed the project,claiming that the proposed sewerage plant will be a health hazard to them, and vowed never to give their land for itsconstruction.
But during the breakthrough meeting, participants resolved to form a twelve-member committee comprising of local opinion leaders, administrators and land owners of the proposed site who will be tasked to engage other community members to curtail their fears over the sewer project.
Addressing the press after the meeting, area Member of Parliament Oku Kaunya hailed the Akiriamasit community for embracing the proposed sewer project and paving the way for its establishment.
He said the project will not only help to resolve the sanitation challenges that have bedeviled Malaba town for decades, but will also transform Akiriamasit area through job creation for the youth and corporate social responsibility activities, including transforming the
local schools into modern ones.
The County Water and Sanitation Chief Officer Moses Weunda said the proposed sewer and water project will cost a total of Shs.1.3billion and will be financed by the African Development Bank.
“The water project will supply the town and its environs with approximately 600 cubic metres of water per hour. The modern sewerage infrastructure to be put in place will also boast the sanitation of Malaba town and its environs,and attract investors into the area,” Weunya said.
He continued “Funds to compensate those willing to sell their pieces of land
earmarked for the project have already been set aside, and there is no cause for alarm.”
Environment Officer with Lake Victoria North Water Service Board Ibrahim Oluoch hailed the community for dispelling their initial fears and embracing the project which will socio-economically benefit Akiriamasit area, Malaba town and its environs.
He said it was their right to express their disaffection and the need to understand the proposed project better before accepting it.
Stephen Ochalu, a 2017 Malaba Central Ward aspirant who is leading the select committee members pledged to rally the community into supporting the project, but said the concerns raised over the project must be addressed.