The construction of Sh.1.8 billion Kirandich Dam Phase II is set to rid residents of Kabarnet town and its surroundings of the perennial acute water shortage they have experienced for the last 17 years.
The implementation of the giant water project has been funded through a loan facility provided by the Italian Government.
Speaking on Tuesday during a County Development Implementation Committee (CDIC) meeting, Rift Valley Water Service Board (RVWSB) Senior Deputy Director, Lucy Mburu said that the contractor is already at the site.
In the meeting chaired by Baringo County Commissioner (CC), Henry Wafula and attended by PDU Director in charge of Baringo, West Pokot and Turkana, Martin Rotich, the RVWSB official stated that upon completion of the Phase II project, more than 65,000 people and their livestock will be supplied with clean and safe drinking water.
“Second phase of the multibillion project will involve extension of water supply to Kabartonjo, Kaptorokwo via Kabasis, Kituro, Kapkut and Kiboino areas,” she stated.
The director said that currently, the water service board was working on site acquisition from Kenya Forest Service (KFS), for construction of water tanks, adding that already distribution pipes have been purchased ready for laying once acquisition negotiations are completed.
Kutol Cherutich from the water board, who accompanied the deputy director, added that Phase II of the project will include enlargement of the spillway and draw off system, protection of the reservoir from siltation, adding that this will be done by constructing 15 check dams and purchase of installation of dam and instrumentation equipment.
Other critical works to be undertaken within the implementation period, Cherutich stated, are construction of power generation system and rehabilitation of management offices.
On construction of a sewerage and waste management plant at an estimated cost of Sh.700 million for Kabarnet town, Mburu said the contractor, who embarked on the project in November last year was currently doing the excavation of the waste stabilization ponds and backfilling of embankment was in progress.
“We have completed the construction of two big water tanks at Kapropita and Kapkut Other activities which have been accomplished include completion of zonal office, topographical survey for sewer lines while sewer line layouts has been submitted for approval,” Ms. Mburu disclosed.
In his speech, the CC implored all agencies entrusted with supervision of capital projects to ensure that all commissioned programmes were completed within the stipulated time frames, since the government will not tolerate slow contractors who occasion unnecessary variations ending up charging more money.
Wafula also stated that the government has made it clear that no new projects will be started before the stalled ones were completed.
The county development implementation committee, he stressed, draws its mandate from Presidential Order No.1 of 2019 and will not be guided or influenced by political bickering and thus contractors must be pushed to follow construction timelines.
The PDU Director stated that the purpose of the committee was to monitor, verify, assess and evaluate status of existing projects in the area and it was imperative that officers given mandate to spearhead implementation of government programmes must take the committee seriously to avoid jeopardising their
The committee visited Kabarnet county referral hospital to assess medical equipment donated by national government like modern dialysis machines, digital X-rays, radiology, sterilization unit, modern theatre and upcoming ICU.
The County Chief Officer of Health, Dr. Gideon Toromo flanked by Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. Stephen Kalya who took the committee on a guided tour of the facilities thanked the national government for sourcing the equipment which he noted will go a long way in helping counties realize the envisaged universal health coverage (UHC) programme.
Dr. Toromo who is a seasoned medic said all the equipment supplied to the county were functional save for the ICU which soon will be operational once the installation of oxygen plant is completed.
The county hospital referral, Dr. Toromo stated, has seven specialists working in the entire critical department backed by two Cuban doctors.
By Joshua Kibet