Water is a crucial enabler of Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda and a multinational tea company in Kericho is going full throttle to support the government’s plan of universal access to clean and safe drinking water while targeting to improve the quality of life for area residents.
James Finlay Company (K) Limited has brought smiles to Mosore village residents in Bureti sub-county of Kericho through a Sh4.5 million spring water project benefiting over 600 households, as well as 500-plus students from nearby schools, and another 1,000 residents from nearby villages and 200 livestock.
The project commissioned on 9 December 2021 derives water from a high yielding spring that takes 44 seconds to fill a 20-litre jerrican.
Designed with a 20-metre deep retention wall and a spring box with filtering materials through which the spring water is pumped through pipes to fetching and washing bays and a cattle trough.
A visit to the water project by KNA revealed a conservation zone of about one acre with an estimated 500 indigenous trees covering the place meant to protect the catchment area.
Besides Mosore village, other areas that have benefited from the water spring project include Mosore Dispensary, Kapchelat Secondary school and Misoi Academy at a distance of one and two kilometers away.
In an interview with KNA, James Finlay Company Ltd General Manager external affairs Mr. Sammy Kirui said the project is among three other water projects that the organization has implemented in Kericho and Bomet counties all amounting to over Sh9 million since 2017 to ensure communities enjoy clean and safe water.
Kirui said that each of the water projects have cumulatively supported over one thousand households, primary and secondary schools and dispensaries around the project.
“Finlays has supported various water projects in Kericho and Bomet counties notably Seretut Spring protection and water project in Belgut sub-county, Kericho which was completed in 2018, Kipchobos Spring protection and water project in Konoin, Bomet County that was commissioned in 2017, and Chepinyonyoi spring and water project in Ainamoi sub-county, Kericho that was completed last year.
Over Sh3 million was spent on each of the projects. The water projects have provided access to clean and safe water to communities and eliminate exposure to waterborne diseases,” said Kirui.
The Mosore water spring project committee chairman Mr. Alexander Chemis said residents used to walk more than two kilometers daily to fetch water from a nearby polluted river exposing themselves to waterborne disease infections and added that the availability of clean and safe water supply has changed lives in the community.
“Last year we experienced drought and many residents went without water and would walk long distances to fetch river water. Diseases like typhoid and diarrhea were common in most households because the water used for laundry would be given to livestock.
Now we no longer have our families getting sick and women have more freed time to engage in income generating activities while children now have ample time to study instead of many hours spent going to fetch water,” said Chemis.
He said an average of 100,000 litres of water is harvested per day from the spring by the residents and those living nearby the water spring project.
A Retired Assistant Chief Richard Ruto commended Finlays for the water project saying it had helped change fortunes for many youths in the area operating the boda boda who sell the water to homesteads within the area.
“Boda boda people now not only do transportation of passengers but also sell water to homes around here. The extra shilling, they earn they pool and invest in Saccos with the aim of freeing themselves from the shackles of poverty,” said Ruto.
Mzee William Kiprotich arap Ngeno, 66, who earns Sh750 a day selling water using his boda boda motor cycle to homes in Kapkisiara and Kapchelat areas within Bureti sub-county echoed the administrator’s sentiments.
“I make 15 trips carrying five jerricans each of twenty litres every day to sell to people living around Kapkisiara and Kapchelat areas which is around two kilometres from the Mosore water project. On each trip I make Sh50 and these monies I use to take care of my family as well as fund subsistence of my two children studying in various universities,” said Mzee Ngeno.
By Sarah Njagi