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Sh1.4 Billion Water Project in Homa Bay stalls

Residents of Homa-Bay town continue to suffer water shortage despite the launch of sh. 1.4 billion water project earlier this year.

The project, funded by the Kenyan and Belgium governments was commissioned by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga eight months ago.

Dubbed Homa Bay Cluster water project, it was designed to address the perennial water crisis in Homa Bay town and surrounding areas.

Residents said delays in completion of the project was subjecting them to risks of contracting diseases due to use of raw water drawn directly from Lake Victoria.

Ms Ivone Abich, a resident of Shauri Yako said families in the area were promised that the project will end all their water problems.

She said that the situation has remained the same and the promises just that, “We were also promised that water will be supplied at a cheaper cost. Until now, no one has benefited from it,” she said.

Abich stated that the lake has been heavily polluted with raw sewage from the town.

“Sometimes the lake produces a bad smell but there is nothing we can do about it,” she said.

Water crisis in the town has made water vendors to increase the cost of their water that they supply using carts and donkeys.

“We buy 20 litre jerrican at Sh 50 and nobody can tell how clean the water we get at our doorsteps is,” said the resident.

According to John Adika, another resident of the town, Homa Bay Water and Sanitation Company (Homawasco) was still billing some homes, which have not received water for a while.

“There could be some cartels at the water department who take advantage of the crisis to earn money,” said Adika.

Homa Bay town has a water demand of 5000 cubic meters daily and the project has a capacity of producing 8800 cubic meters, making it the most suitable solution to the crisis once operational.

Efforts to reach the county Chief Officer for water for a comment was futile as his phone went unanswered.

By Brian Odhiambo and Davis Langat

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