The national government requires an additional 500 million shillings to fully operationalize the Mumias water supply project constructed at a total cost of 1.7 billion shillings.
The water project, constructed by the government and World Bank through the International Development Association (IDA) and completed in 2014 is currently operating at only 30 per cent capacity.
According to Engineer Dickson Opiyo, technical officer with the implementing agency, the Lake Victoria North Water Works Development Agency (LVNWWDA), an additional 500 million shillings is urgently required to construct additional water supply and implement a metering programme.
“This will enable water supply to be extended to other areas in Butere, Navakholo, Matungu, Mumias East and West sub counties and peri-urban areas of Mumias town to supply the idle capacity to an additional 6,000 families,” said Eng. Opiyo.
Speaking when he led the Kakamega County Development and Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) during a tour of the project, Eng. Opiyo said the scheme is operating at a capacity of 2,500m3 per day against the 13,500m3 net water for distribution per day.
“The water supply scheme is operating at a capacity of 2,500m3 per day occasioned by the closure of Mumias sugar factory which was the driver of Mumias town,” he said.
According to Eng. Opiyo, the water supply generates monthly revenue of 2.5 million shillings only which cannot provide the required 4 million shillings monthly for loan repayment.
The gravity driven scheme has a raw water intake upstream of the source on River Lusumu, some 28 kilometers from Mumias town.
The old water system with a capacity of 1,215m3 per day was also rehabilitated to serve adjoining lower rural areas by gravity.
The new project has a new reinforced concrete tank constructed at Ekero near Mumias town with a capacity of 5,000m3 to boost water storage and supply in the centre.
“The new treated water gravity main length of 28,099m was laid from Nambacha water treatment plant to the Ekero storage reservoir near Mumias town,” he added.
Kakamega County Commissioner John Ondengo, who is the chair of CDICC said the government has beefed up security at all key government installations to ensure against vandalism.
By George Kaiga