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Community-run projects solving perennial water conflicts

Taita Taveta’s perennial water shortage could be solved by putting projects under the management of the community for the community, a model that has borne fruits for the residents of Challa.

Speaking during the celebration of 32 years for the Chala water project, CECM in charge of Water, Environment, Sanitation, Climate Change, and Natural Resources Esther Mwanyumba reiterated that putting vital resources in the hands of the community is the best way to end water problems in the county.

“Today we mark 32 years of existence of this project, which has been managed by members of the community for the community. It is the way to go if we’re to defeat the demon of water shortage and the fights between communities and private water entities,” stated Mwanyumba.

The Chala water project is now targeting a population of 16,400 people with ten water points and 900 household connections with four primary schools, several churches, one secondary school, and a dispensary also benefitting from the connections.

Run by a committee selected by the community, the project has been a success for over three decades and has avoided the conflicts witnessed in community-private water projects elsewhere in the county.

Taita Taveta County is largely dependent on borehole and open-water sources in the arid regions since TAVEVO water system is yet to make in-roads into the remote areas, thus the need for more resources to enhance distribution of the vital resource and end water related conflicts.

The county’s administration is now making a rallying call for members of the community to participate in the running and development of projects such as water that would in the long run lift the area from the dire water situation, which has been worsened by the ongoing countrywide drought.

By Arnold Linga Masila

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