The government has embarked on a Sh17.1 Billion water and sewerage upgrading project in Thika and Githunguri towns, putting an end to the perennial water shortages that has caused endless suffering to residents over the years.
The projects funded by the government in partnership with the Danish government seek to improve water supply and sewage management in the busy towns.
Denmark Environment Minister Lea Wermelin said in Thika town alone, the project aims to provide clean and affordable water to over 250,000 residents as well as connect 331,000 residents to piped sewerage.
Speaking during her tour at Thika Water Service Provider (Thiwasco), Wermelin said stable water supply and improved sewerage system is a necessity in growing societies and should be prioritised by governments.
She said through improved sewage management, Kiambu County will be able to produce biogas and thus contribute to climate change.
“We have shared ambitions with the Kenyan government in our endeavours of providing clean water to our people and thus the need to support the programme. We hope it will not only provide water and improve the sewerage system but also produce power which can be used as biogas and help in climate management,” she said.
Thiwasco Managing Director Moses Kinya, said the project will ease pressure on water and sewerage services demand in the industrial town that has been depending on a 50-year old water supply system.
He said the company will be able to upgrade its 40,000 Cubic metres per day current capacity which is way below over 360,000 demand in Thika and parts of Juja Sub Counties.
He said the system has never been upgraded over the years despite the growing population of the town due to the many institutions of higher learning and demand of urban life.
Kinya said the project will involve putting up a water intake on the upstream of Thika River as well as expand treatment works at the current site.
They will also enlarge storage and transmission pipelines to increase the amount of water distributed to at an instance demanded added that they will also put up three sewerage treatment networks at Pilot, Nanga and Kilimambogo areas to enhance the quality of waste disposal that will be used to produce biogas.
His sentiments were echoed by Kiambu County Environment CEC David Kuria who maintained that doubling water provision in Thika will better the quality of life for locals.
Thika residents have been up in arms with the Kiambu County Government and the water service provider over continued water rationing saying they have been forced to dig deep and buy water at exorbitant prices from vendors.
In some estates, a 20-litre jerrican goes for between Sh20 and Sh50 which is sometimes unaffordable to the majority of the residents.
By Muoki Charles