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Kisumu residents’ water woes not ending soon

Residents of Kisumu County will have to contend much longer with the perennial water crisis in the city until the construction of the Soin-Koru multipurpose dam is complete, the county government has revealed.

Kisumu governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o said that sourcing for water from Lake Victoria that currently supplies about 20 per cent of the city’s water requires massive investment to adequately cater for the residents’ water demand.

Nyong’o made the revelation in the wake of a biting water shortage that hit several estates in the lakeside city after levels at the major rivers, Kajulu and Kibos that supply over 80 per cent of the water consumed by the residents, dropped drastically following the severe drought that has hit several parts of the country.

The governor who was responding to questions during a Tuesday breakfast meeting with journalists at the Acacia Hotel in Kisumu said the Sh20 billion Soin-Koru dam heralds the sustainable solution in addressing water problems in the region.

“The Soin-Koru dam will give Kisumu residents access to a more reliable source for domestic as well as water for irrigation purposes,” said Nyong’o adding that this would also bolster food security in the region.

Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO) has been on the spot in the past following reports of presence of high levels of iron in water from the lake which is supplied to the locals.

This prompted KIWASCO managing director Thomas Odongo to come out strongly and assure residents that the water supplied by the company from the lake is safe for drinking and conforms to the Kenya Bureau of Standards specifications.

He however acknowledged that hyacinth infestation was a big challenge and had affected the quality of water forcing the company to cough up to an additional of Sh700, 000 a month in treating the contaminated water.

Kisumu residents, according to the company, consume 37, 000 cubic metres of the precious commodity a day with plans in the pipeline to inject an additional Sh6 billion to expand the extraction point.
Meanwhile, the governor who engaged journalists in trailing the progress of various development projects contained in his pre-election pact urged the scribes to help the county showcase its potential ahead of the 9th edition of the Africities conference to be held in Kisumu City in 2022.

By Milton Onyango

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