National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Board of Directors has decried water shortage in Kitui County following prolonged drought in the area.
Speaking on Thursday in Kitui town after a two-day fact finding visit on water sources in the county, the NDMA Board of Director’s Chairman, Raphael Nzomo, lamented that most of water sources had dried up due to the drought.
He noted that residents and livestock are trekking for long distances in search of water from the remaining few water sources, which are also threatened by the raging drought.
The County depends highly on water from NDMA earth dams for domestic and livestock use, especially among the rural folk, as urban areas, including Kitui and Mwingi towns have piped water from major rivers.
The NDMA Board of Directors visited scores of the earth dams across the County during their fact finding drought tour in the county.
“We visited Yongela and kwa Ndaki earth dams in Kitui South, Kanyangi earth dam in Kitui Rural and Mbarani dam in Mwingi North. We are putting some mitigation to respond to the current dire water crisis situation effectively, “said the boards’ chairman.
Nzomo added that the board’s response was both immediate and long term, including implementation of more water projects across the county going forward.
During the tour, the NDMA unveiled various drought response interventions worth Sh10 million.
The funds will be used to provide 14000 liters of fuel for water pumps, purchase of water pumps and spare parts to support 37 strategic boreholes as well as provision of 11 water tanks for needy Sub Counties in Kitui County.
“Since we will be getting free fuel from the NDMA we will in return reduce water charges from Sh5 to Sh3 per 20 litres, as well improve water supply for both domestic and livestock,” said James Maundu, the chairman of yongela Community Water earth dam.
The Board will further embark on major rehabilitation works on Kwa Ndaki Earth Dam, since it’s drying up due to silting and needs urgent rehabilitation in readiness for October – December rain seasons.
“I’m happy for the success of Mbarani Earth Dam, which was constructed last year at a cost of Sh6.4 million. The Dam is now providing approximately 54000 M3 of water to 5000 households, 7000 livestock as well as 20 institutions including schools,” said Nzomo.
He further observed that residents around the Mbarani dam were now a happy lot as they no longer have to travel for long distances in search of water.
“Mbarani community members have embraced this project since they used to walk for 8 kilometers looking for water. We now have water for both our livestock and household chores and also we use the water to plant vegetables which we sell to sustain ourselves,” noted Mary Mwende, a beneficiary of the dam.
The Board of Directors urged residents to use the water from the earth dams to their maximum benefit, including planting of trees and vegetables, which can easily change their livelihoods as well as environment.
By Denson Mututo and Rose Mwangangi