Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has reiterated government commitment in addressing challenges of waste disposal and solid management across the country.
While decrying poor waste disposal systems as a major challenge to both the National and county governments, the CS noted lack of the vital system was resulting in water pollution.
She regretted that feacal matter which exposes people to cholera and other waterborne diseases was openly being released to water trenches that lead to water points resulting in an escalation of waterborne illnesses.
“Waste disposal has been a major challenge to both the national and county governments as effluent is disposed of at water points which leads to contamination of water due to lack of proper sewerage system,” said the CS.
Kariuki, who was speaking in Ol Kalou town, Nyandarua County where she presided over the ground breaking ceremony for a Sh684 million water and sewerage system noted that the project will be a big relief to the town that has relied on exhausters, pit latrines and seasonal rivers to drain its effluence.
The CS added that the project that is expected to directly serve about 25, 000 people after completion in a year’s time had a capacity to be optimized to serve an extra 35, 000 people in future.
The project that is jointly funded by the African Development Bank and the Government of Kenya through the Central Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency (CRVWWDA) is being carried out by Sinohydro Corporation Limited.
“Through my ministry and our partners, we have identified pans and about 269 colonial dams in the county that we have earmarked for desilting to help spur irrigation programs and provide drinking water for our livestock, |” added the CS noting that about 33, 200 households are set to benefit with water from recently commissioned boreholes drilled by the ministry across the county.
CRVWWDA CEO Eng. Hosea K. Wendot said that the project will include water supply to the residents with the construction of a 2,000 cubic metres water treatment plant in addition to the sanitation component.
Wendot said that Nyandarua residents will be considered on a first priority basis for jobs that do not require a lot of skill.
Ol Kalou MP David Kiaraho said the compensation of those affected by the sewer line should be based on market value and the agency should therefore negotiate with the affected to agree on compensation.
“Ol Kalou town is growing rapidly and sanitation is a major issue that has been ignored for a long time. I want to tell the population that sanitation is very important because if we are to achieve good health and a good environment, we have to manage our waste,” he said.
Nyandarua County Executive for Water, Environment and Natural Resources Milka Wanjiru said as they build the sewerage system, they will also improve the water supply in Ol Kalou town.
By Jesse Mwitwa