Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi has challenged local water users and associations to play a crucial role in the management and conservation of the essential commodity for its sustainability.
Cheboi said if residents make it a habit of promptly paying for their water bills then the challenges that come with its scarcity and connectivity will be a thing of the past.
The governor made the call at a Kabarnet resort when he officially closed a day-long workshop on public private community partnerships jointly funded by SNV WASH, the Netherlands Development Cooperation and Water Trust Fund.
He urged the over 60 community officials from Baringo Central and Baringo North sub-counties to ensure their members install metering systems in order to support proper running of water services that include maintenance.
“Revenue coming out of the water is able to pay service providers, employees and also meet costs of treatment of the water,” he explained.
Cheboi who signed a partnership agreement between the county government, SNV and representatives of community water projects urged stakeholders to support in the development of a new water policy that will streamline the critical sector whose two main providers namely Kirandich and Chemususu multimillion dams in Baringo Central and Koibatek Sub Counties respectively have reached an all-time low.
He said that such policies usually legislated at the county assembly will greatly safeguard water catchments and punish those involved in illegal water connections as well as defaulters.
County Executive Member (CEC) for Water Dr. Maurine Rotich, while reiterating the sentiments, expressed the need to safeguard all water projects handed to the community in order to serve the present and future generations.
Dr. Rotich who took issue with the growing culture of carrying out farming activities near catchment areas said that if the vice is not stopped it can have a ripple effect on rivers and other sources providing water to the communities.
Kirandich Water Service Company Managing Director Eng. Phillip Chepsat, lamented that they have not been supported fully to achieve their revenue and connectivity targets.
Eng. Chepsat recommended extensive sensitisation of all stakeholders in the county to reduce the huge gap in the water sector which he said both national and county governments have invested heavily on its infrastructure.
SNV representative Dr. Jackson Wandera, said that their organisation through Ending Drought Emergencies- Climate Proofed Infrastructure for Improved Water and Sanitation in Arid and Semi-Arid Land Areas (EDE CIPRA) is currently supporting three community water projects of Kapkirwok, Sacho and Ngetmoi within the county.
Dr. Wandera while urging other water users to emulate Kapkirwok water project for becoming the best model said their aim is geared towards resilience in development of water and agriculture sectors.
The water project, he stated, has the capacity to supply water to more than 1000 households for domestic and livestock use.
Kapkirwok water project Chairman Mohammed Cheboi who represented the community water leadership lauded the EDE-CPIRA Programme for funding and capacity building their members saying they took into consideration all the management steps like metering of all pipes which has enabled their facility to be sustainable.
By Benson Kelio and Joshua Kibet