Over 60,000 households in Busia county are set to benefit from a 24 million US dollars funded water project.
This comes after the County Government of Busia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the USAID- funded Western Kenya Water Project (WKWP) that will help increase sustained access to water services, while enabling better management of water resources in the area.
Speaking after signing the MOU, the county Deputy Governor (DG) Arthur Odera who is also the County Executive Committee Member for Water, Irrigation and Natural Resources said that the ultimate goal as a county is to have a situation where every resident of Busia has easy access to clean, safe and enough water for domestic consumption, livestock, agriculture and general well-being.
“Busia County is currently at 56 percent water sufficiency in terms of supply despite having numerous water sources around. The biggest challenge has been resources and now with support from USAID, we want to assure residents of adequate supply as we address perennial water shortage in the county,” noted Odera.
The DG added that the MOU will also help Busia Water and Sewerage Company (BUWASCO) become strong and self-sustaining.
The project is a five-year initiative, aimed at improving both urban and rural water infrastructure and will also be implemented in Bungoma, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori and Siaya counties.
The WKWP Deputy Chief of Party Calvince Odera said the purpose of the MOU is to put into action some of the activities being spearheaded by the organization.
“This is a five-year project fully funded by USAID to a tune of USD $24million targeting 8 counties within the lake region, with a keen focus on last mile connectivity which will ensure that safe and clean water is at the door steps of the target group.
The focus of the project is five components that have been created in partnership with Busia County include urban water services, rural water services, water resources management, finance and private sector engagement and policy and governance that will help the sector to grow and satisfy customers.
“This partnership will help guide the 8 county government’s efforts over the next five years to advance health, prosperity, stability and resilience through improved water resources management and increased access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene,” he added.
The timely intervention comes at a time when the country is grappling with multiple crisis linked to water from the drought crippling the northern part of the country, to the perennial floods that ravages Budalangi constituency.
“The women continue to be left out of school and the labour market as they continue to bear the burden of nearly two billion people worldwide in order to address access to drinking water and sanitation for their families,” noted Odera.
In addition to advancing the goals of the sustainable water supply, WKWP) will seek to advance other shared priorities like bolstering global food security and nutrition, mitigating fragility, conflict and gender-based violence, while responding to the growing threat of climate change.
By Absalom Namwalo.