Nyamira County Government’s initiative to drill 20 boreholes to cushion residents against the challenge of acute water shortage in the region has started yielding fruits.
The County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Environment, Water, Mining and Natural Resources Samuel Maiko told KNA that the once reliable rainfall patterns and conserved wetlands have lately been destabilised by climate change and human actions, leaving county residents to grapple with the challenge of water scarcity.
“Nyamira County used to receive constant reliable rainfall and its springs had sufficient safe water for everyone, but due to continued human actions of planting eucalyptus trees near wetland and riparian areas and effects of climate change, the reliable rainfall patterns have completely been tampered with,” Maiko observed.
“Due to the commercial value of eucalyptus trees, residents have decided to plant them along riparian and wetland areas for fast growth, thereby depleting underground water and leaving our sources of clean safe water springs dry,” the CECM explained.
It’s due to the dire need of this precious but scarce commodity that the County government embarked on drilling one borehole in each of its 20 wards to enable residents’ access clean and safe water in their neighbourhoods for domestic use.
“We have laws governing and directing how preservation of our water sources should be done and clearly laid down repercussions for those found breaching those laws, though we have not fast-tracked its implementation but we will soon do so, because the effects of water scarcity are real and costly,” said Maiko.
He highlighted that locations where the boreholes were drilled were decided by members of the ward through a public participation forum, guided by the area ward assembly member to ensure that it was sunk at a place it can serve majority of the people.
The county executive further hinted that they are planning to undertake mega water projects in collaboration with other partners to serve areas which are densely populated like market places and learning institutions so that the challenge of water is contained once and for all.
He appealed to residents of Nyamira to conserve and preserve the endangered water sources because water is a key commodity in all homesteads and a life sustainer, the more reason why we should jealously guard those sources for future survival.
A local resident, Nora Kemuma lauded the county government’s move to drill a water borehole at Enchoro in Bosamaro ward because those living uphill like herself had to go downhill to access clean water, but now time wasted to fetch clean water downstream, has since become a thing of the past.
By Deborah Bochere