Bomet County Assembly has passed a budget that allocated more than Sh100 million to the water and sanitation department which is in line with Governor Joyce Laboso’s campaign manifesto.
The budget sought to increase its allocation to the department not only to forge towards universal water supply but also to conserve riparian areas and modernize operations to minimize wastage.
County Executive Member for Water Benson Sang said Monday that the County Assembly worked harmoniously with the executive in efforts geared towards channeling resources to ensure all households in Bomet have water.
Sang said consultation between the Executive and the Assembly arrived at the conclusion to allocate the biggest budget to the department owing to the fact that water was a basic commodity and that to have universal coverage was expensive.
He said the County boasted of nine schemes located on the highlands of Bomet but the lower areas including Chebalungu and Bomet East were drier thus required dams and water pans apart from piped water.
He said the biggest burden was the cost of electricity which, in the Financial Year 2018/2019, took a whooping Sh68 million while personnel took Sh67 million.
Sang noted that Bomet Water and Sanitation Company was a non-profit making entity thus could not be relied upon to fund its operations.
The Chair in charge of budget committee Aaron Kirui said there was need for sensitization of Bomet residents to pay for water supplied so that the company could avoid overreliance on the County Government.
Kirui, who is also a Member of County Assembly for Township Ward, said the Assembly backed Governor Laboso on the need to prioritise the water issue saying Sh. 60 million have been allocated for buying drilling machines.
He said every ward in the County would have at least three boreholes at strategic locations, a move, he said, would relieve women and children from the burden of walking long distances in search of water.
The MCA echoed Sang’s sentiments on the need to conserve springs saying such water sources were cheaper to fund compared to piped water.
He said springs’ conservation took between Sh. 100,000 to Sh 700,000 adding that the benefits of such initiatives mitigated the impact of climate change and deforestation on rivers in the County.
Kirui said he would rally the Assembly behind a bill by the water department seeking to rid all riparian areas of eucalyptus trees that CEC Sang said posed a real threat to water sources.
By Kipngeno Korir