Residents of Homa Bay town have been asked to exercise patience as Homa Bay County Water and Sanitation Company (Homawasco) moves towards addressing the existing low water supply in the lakeside town.
This call comes against a backdrop of constant cries by residents in the last two months following biting water shortage that has forced them to depend on water vendors who take advantage of their desperation to charge them exorbitantly.
The company’s Managing Director Dan Oketch attributed the low water supply to inadequate infrastructure hindering steady supply to households, adding that the water company lacks corresponding infrastructure in terms of distribution of water to connect every part of the town.
“We have a gap of 51 kilometers of pipeline which is making it hard for us to reach everyone at the same time. The existing systems cannot contain water pressure as they are outdated and that is why we have to produce sparingly,” stated the MD about the profile of the company he heads.
Oketch said there was a need to overhaul the existing infrastructure to ensure everyone is supplied with the precious commodity.
HOMAWASCO also faces the challenge of high costs of water production. “The cost we incur in terms of acquiring chemicals is expensive. A 50kg bag of chemicals in 2021 would go at about Sh1900 but currently it is sold at Sh4000. This makes daily production costly,” he said.
To ensure every consumer accesses water, the company came up with a supply schedule where every estate in the town has its own time of supply.
For instance, Shauri Yako estate which has the highest number of consumers is supplied with water three times a week, Sofia and Makongeni Estates twice a week and the CBD is connected throughout the week.
The water company currently runs five major schemes in Homa Bay town, Mbita, Oyugis, Kendu Bay town and Karachuonyo.
“We strive to ensure water reaches everyone and everywhere by covering all the infrastructures that we have. Despite the challenges we are doing our best to ensure clean tapped water reaches our people,” stated the MD.
By Sitna Omar and Violet Atieno