The Ministry of Water and Sanitation is calling for political goodwill and support from the Murang’a county government in the implementation of various water projects in the area.
Water Principal Secretary Mr. Joseph Irungu noted that the national government is working on many water projects within the county but lack of support from the Murang’a county leadership will pose challenges in implementing the projects.
Irungu termed such on going projects as ‘enormous’ and monumental which need dialogue by all stakeholders to a handle in order to surmount various challenges likely to emerge during the implementation process.
Irungu who was speaking in Kangema where he accompanied agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri to commission Nyanjigi Irrigation project asked the county administration to assist the Ministry in undertaking the Last Mile Connectivity project which will ensure every homestead in the county has access to water.
He asked local leaders not to politicize water issues saying the commodity is very critical for every person and if there are differences, they should be handled in a legal manner.
“The government is already working on many water projects in this county and once completed, more than 90 percent of residents will get water in their homes. The Ministry is seeking support from the county leadership in actualising this,” added the PS.
Irungu cited a past incident in which the World Bank withdrew funding of a Sh130 million water project and support for various water projects due to political squabbles.
He said as a Ministry they have managed to negotiate for Sh110million from the African Development Bank to cover the gap.
Sh50m from the ADB money, the PS noted will be utilised to develop the Murang’a Urban Water Project which will include laying a pipeline from Kayahwe Treatment Plant to the lower Murang’a zones.
“The remaining Sh60 m will go to Murang’a South Water and Sanitation Company to rehabilitate water schemes in that area,” he added.
Irungu further observed that the Ministry is in the process of sourcing for a Sh4 billion loan from French Government to fund Gatamathi-Kahuti Bulk Water Project which will cover Upper parts of Mathioya, Kangema, Kiharu and Kigumo Constituencies saying the project is expected to be complete within the next four years.
Other water projects the Ministry is working in the county within the current financial year include Gatango Water Project in Mathioya at a cost of Sh. 250 million with the PS saying the project will be complete in June 2019.
“Rehabilitation of Kahuti Water Project Phase I in Kiharu Constituency at a cost of Sh. 80 million is going on and expected to be complete by June next year,” Irungu remarked.
He further noted that Sh200 million will be used to expand the pipeline from Irati to Mariira in order give sufficient water to Maragua and Kigumo Constituencies.
Since August this year, the county government has been at loggerheads with local water companies as the devolved unit moved to manage the firms.
The local county assembly has also passed a water bill giving the county administration powers to control the five water companies operating with the county.
By Bernard Munyao