The government is undertaking 685 water projects and has already constructed over 2,500 dams since 2013 in order to ensure sufficient water for every Kenyan household.
Water Secretary Eng. Samwel Alima has said so far Kenya is at 70 per cent water coverage and 40 per cent in sanitation, while aiming at reaching 100 per cent before vision 2030.
In 2002, the country water coverage level was at 30 per cent, 53 per cent in 2013, currently at 70 per cent, while projecting to achieve 80 per cent by the end of the year.
However, the sanitation coverage is currently very low at 32 per cent, with the government aiming to achieve 40 per cent before the year ends.
Speaking during the Sema Na Spox virtual weekly meeting Monday, Eng. Alima said at the same time the government is in the process of completing four large dams including Yamo in Maralal, Thiba (Kirinyaga), Karimenu (Kiambu) and Thwake dam in Makueni County.
The Water Secretary noted that due to the ongoing drought, the government is trucking water in 23 Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASALs) counties and also carrying out ground water harvesting, just to ensure that no life is lost due to lack of water.
Terming water as life, Eng. Alima said it was government’s mandate to provide citizens with water and that’s why it has prioritized the same.
He said that last year the government came up with a new policy, which encourages communities to harvest water during rainy seasons and that in the next two weeks, teams are set out to move all-over the country educating Kenyans on water harvesting.
“I want to encourage wananchi to conserve water and water catchment areas so that we can have the precious commodity in future, for the demand is huge,” said Eng. Alima.
Answering a question on whether borehole water is fit for human consumption or not, the Water Secretary said the government analyses such water content to check the level of fluoride and for the salty water to be desalinated to make it ready for use.
Eng. Alima said according to research, 42 percent of water is lost at household level, due to pipe leakage and the government will train Kenyans on how to go about water leakages.
On his part, the Government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd.) Cyrus Oguna said the government is also implementing the Water for School Project, whereby for the last three years, 60 schools have been provided with the precious commodity.
Every year within that period, Oguna said over 180 schools have benefited from the Sh900 million project funded by development partners.
“As much as the government is doing its best by deploying several initiatives to see to it that every household has sufficient water, I urge Kenyans to develop the culture of water storage and also minimize on water wastage and report any water pipe leakage for action,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government in collaboration with development partners like the World Bank, will continue to ensure that the country remains water secure, added Oguna.
By Catherine Muindi and Edwin Baraka