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Busia OSBP traders benefit from Sh7million sanitary block

It’s a sigh of relief for Busia One Stop Border Post (OSBP) traders following commissioning of a modern sanitation block.

The block, constructed by Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network (KEWASNET) and funded by WATERAID East Africa is now ready for use by cross border traders and long-distance truck drivers, who have had challenges in terms of sanitation services.

According to engineer Susan Masila from KEWASNET, the block that cost Sh. 7million will also house a shop and a store. She said partners also delivered basic supplies for the store which included tissue papers and soap, enough to last the next three months.

Chief Officer Water, Hellen Mukanda who commissioned the sanitation block on behalf of Acting Water Executive, Dr Moses Osia thanked Kewasnet, WaterAid, KRA and Busia OSBP for partnering to implement the project which she said is worthwhile and will go a long way in addressing sanitation challenges and also be a source of revenue generation.

“We lack a water masterplan and there is need to review our Strategic Plan for the department. We are appealing to Kewasnet and WaterAid to partner with us in achieving this dream,” she said.

Regional Manager WaterAid East African Region, Boniface Kiome said their focus was on sustainable water hygiene and sanitation services to reduce common diseases.

WaterAid has described Busia border as a vital trading route that processes approximately 14,000 people, (travelers, workers and traders) and 7,000 trucks weekly, noting that the heavy traffic of goods, services and people was a key determinant that informed its selection of this border point.

Head of Programs at KEWASNET, Vincent Ouma said the Sanitation Block will be co-managed by KRA and the County Government of Busia through the Department of Water, Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources.

KRA will run on an interim basis before engaging a capable operator.

Director Water and Sewerage, James Imwene urged the two partners to replicate the Sanitation Block to other urban centres including Malaba, Sio Port and Port Victoria to enable residents’ benefit from this vital facility.

Busia Water and Sewerage Services Company (BUWASSCO) Limited Technical Manager, Collins Oduori said the Water Service Provider was committed to ensure the facility operates without any challenges, urging the Border Management Committee to utilize water harvested from roof to cushion against water scarcity.

Busia OSBP KRA Deputy Station Manager in charge of Customs, Philip Koech said the Sanitation Block in addition to other washing facilities will help in the fight against Covid-19 and other water bone diseases.

Before this project, traders and long distance truck drivers were forced to beg to relief themselves in private toilets, while most owners were not very friendly of helpful.

By Absalom Namwalo

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