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New technology to supply piped water to residents

Residents in the rural areas of Turkana County are set to benefit from a new technology, that will enable them access piped water, that is safe and clean from boreholes, equipped with hand pumps.

The project has been made possible through partnership between the County Government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The technology described as “elevated hand pump” works by raising the normal hand pump by three to four meters above the ground, fitting it with a reservoir tank, and connecting homesteads and communal water points, to a pipeline through which water is supplied by gravity.

Prior to the technology, piped water was only possible from boreholes equipped with solar energy or connected to electric power.

JICAs’ team Leader in Turkana, Fumiaki Murakami, said the technology provides the residents with clean and safe water, without necessarily having to walk long distances or using energy to pump water.

“We have already installed the “elevated hand pump” technology at Kawarnaparan Primary School and Nakitoeakwaan village near Kakuma,” JICA’s Murakami said.

The County’s Director of Water Services, Paul Lotum, described the technology as a low-cost approach to upgrading hand pump-equipped boreholes, without having to rely on solar.

He urged beneficiaries of the new technology to protect the installations from misuse and vandalism, so as to serve them longer.

“As a department, we welcome innovations aimed at ensuring residents access clean and safe water for their use,” Director Lotum said.

Jacob Bobei, a beneficiary of the technology at Nakitoeakwaan, acknowledged the technology had saved the residents of the area from dirty water resulting from direct pumping from the water point.

“We no longer have to struggle and compete with our livestock for water access at the pump. Once the water is pumped into the reservoir tank, we access it in our taps near our homes for both human and animal use,” Bobei excitingly said.

While the technology protects the hand pump from overuse and the potential for breakdowns, it also has the advantage of allowing the borehole time to recharge, thereby, increasing the water yield.

By Peter Gitonga and Ezekiel Ngasike


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