Water and Irrigation Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu has called for proper utilization of boreholes and other water utilities in Baringo county.
Speaking at Chemolingot town Wednesday during a visit to assess the progress of learning in area schools, Mr Irungu lamented that most of the boreholes that were dug by both the national and county government are all in need of repairs.
The PS stated that the region which has often experienced perennial water shortage due to persistent recurring drought is amongst the counties privileged to own over 30 boreholes funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with Ministry of Water and Irrigation, aimed at providing increased access to clean and safe water to thousands of residents.
Irungu, who was accompanied by the Government spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, county commissioner Henry Wafula and Tiaty MP William Kamket during the tour, however observed that some of the boreholes at the moment requires additional funds to fix broken equipment for them to continue operating.
“About 25 boreholes have been handed over to the community but we have done a lot of repairs, which is proving very costly,” he said.
He challenged the beneficiaries to form trustable committees to manage the run day-today operations of the water projects so as to guarantee ownership and sustainability.
At the same time, the PS stated that the ongoing piping of county’s multimillion projects like Chemususu water supply in Koibatek Sub County and phase two of Kirandich dam in Baringo Central were on course and the residents will soon benefit from the two mega projects intended to achieve universal water accessibility across the county.
He mentioned that Bartolimo Boys high school in Baringo North and Chemolingot in Tiaty West were some of the institutions whose boreholes had broken, down but promised that they will soon be rehabilitated so that learners are able to access clean water for hand washing and other uses especially during this Covid-19 pandemic period.
Central Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency CEO Engineer Hosea Wendot in a rejoinder stated that ministry of water has recorded a lot of water projects in the region that should be managed properly in order to realize value for money.
Eng. Wendot urged the area leadership to be at the forefront in ensuring that such government initiated facilities are devoid of ownership wrangles.
He added that local leadership and national government officers like chiefs and their assistants should lead discussion in formation of viable management committees to ensure that the projects sponsored by both levels of government and non-governmental organizations serve people for a very long time.
Tiaty Member of Parliament William Kamket in his address said water was a basic commodity particularly in his area where communities trek for several kilometres to get it.
Kamket noted that the water resource has for decades united communities in the region, hence a slight mismanagement could trigger unnecessary conflicts.
The legislator urged the water department to plan for the construction of more water pans in the area, since some existing boreholes are producing hot water, while others have fluoride due to their nearness to hot geysers.
by Benson Kelio/Joshua Kibet