Nandi County leaders have agreed to have a common approach on several proposed water projects across the county aimed at increasing the number of households connected with water.
Governor Stephen Sang and six Members of Parliament from Nandi County met at county headquarters with Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Principal Secretary Dr. Paul Ronoh and agreed that Keben Dam, Nandi Hills Water Supply and Sanitation, Spring Water Piping in Tinderet and several other water projects were important but they will prioritise those that can be completed in the next four years.
Sang told the meeting that his government is ready to work with the National Government, Kenya Water Institute and other water bodies working in Nandi to complete proposed water projects across the county in order to raise water connection coverage that currently stands at 11,000 out of targeted over 200,000 households.
Nandi County became the first county in Kenya to sign a memorandum of understanding with the National Government to jointly work on water projects in a bid to solve the water crisis in the county.
Speaking during the meeting, the PS stated that it was important for the National and the County governments to work together to ensure that plans to increase the supply of water in Nandi County succeeded.
“The County Government should collaborate with the national government so that whatever the National Government cannot do, the County Government can help, stated the PS.
The meeting culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Nandi County with Kenya Water Institute and an MOU on Reduction of Non-Revenue Water.
Launching of the Water Police Unit was also marked where PS Ronoh emphasized that the unit will arrest individuals involved in water connection vandalism and those who deliberately fail to pay water revenue.
Speaking after the signing of the MOU, Governor Sang stated that the move was important as the two factions of government will complement each other and, in the process, cut the costs of implementing projects.
“If we were to use either county or national government equipment to sink boreholes instead of using private contractors as we have done in the past, the cost of sinking one borehole will be cut by half,” stated Governor Sang while expressing his optimism in the newly forged partnership.
According to the Governor, the other purpose of signing the MOU was to enhance water management by reducing non-revenue water which is water that does not earn any revenue despite its production costing money.
The PS also expressed his delight in the new partnership stating that it would allow the national government and the county government to share resources.
“We are one government serving the same wananchi and therefore we must ensure that we optimize resources and the signed MOU will see that through,” stated PS Dr. Ronoh.
The PS also seized the opportunity to urge Nandi County residents to share water resources as a way of curbing the water shortage crisis in the county.
During the meeting, the parties also agreed that connecting households to water supply and upgrading the sewerage systems in Kapsabet town was a priority since the system that is currently in use in the town was installed in 1995.
“If you have a borehole, we will have an agreement on how you can assist the community since it will be senseless for the government to come and sink a borehole for the community yet one already exists,” added the PS.
The PS further noted that some schools in the county have water in surplus yet the surrounding community suffers from water shortage, a scenario which he termed very wrong.
“Boreholes sunk in schools are not meant for schools alone but the entire community,” the PS said before pointing out that it was selfish for a school to have water in surplus whereas the surrounding community suffers.
The PS pointed out that the entire Nandi County requires about 60,000 cubic meters of water per day yet the current supply of water is 19,000 cubic meters.
PS and his team toured several proposed water projects including Nand Hills Water Supply and Sanitation Project.
Members of Parliament present at the meeting included Josses Lelmengit (Emgwen), Benard Kitur (Nandi Hills), Paul Biego (Chesumei), Marianne Kitany (Aldai), Abraham Kirwa (Mosop) and Julius Meli (Tinderet).
By Geoffrey Satia