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Maralal residents trek long distances to get water

Residents of Loosuk village in Samburu west Sub-County have been facing acute water shortage for more than three months after three boreholes in the area became non-operational due to poor management.

The residents and their livestock who depended on Lching’ei, Lorian and Loosuk boreholes for clean water are now forced to walk for more than ten kilometres in order to get water at Ngweta Community Borehole at a service fee of Sh5 per 20-litre jerrican and Sh4 for livestock.

Dickson Lekapana the chairman of Ngweta Community Borehole is calling on the Samburu County water department to enhance production capacity of the borehole from 2300 litres storage tank to 10,000 litres due to increased demand for water.

“We are now serving many people and thousands of livestock with water but this tank is too small, we want a bigger tank with a 10,000 litre storage capacity fitted with a bigger motor in order to serve people well,’ he said.

Residents who stay far away from Ngweta are forced to buy water from Tuktuk and Boda boda operators.

“We are really suffering because the April short rains have failed so we are forced to hire Tuktuks to deliver water for domestic and livestock and the majority who cannot afford are forced to fetch dirty water from a water pan at Nkare Narok area,” Mr Mathias Lengalai, a resident said.

According Loosuk residents, their current predicaments are as a result of poor management by elected borehole committees who lack skills in maintaining water pumps.

“Communities usually elect unskilled people who only know how to operate a water pump but cannot tell when it needs service and maintenance so when it breaks down it is too costly for the community to repair. We ask the county government to train all people in charge of community boreholes,” Edward Losenke said.

The county government has been called upon to intervene as the community is unable to raise money for high cost of repairing the boreholes.

By Robert Githu

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