Siaya County government has been asked to prioritize provision of clean water to residents to reduce the waterborne disease burden in the region.
Geno Community Development Initiative board chair Dr Lynette Olima said provision of clean water will see the number of people seeking treatment in hospitals reduce thereby saving the county government a lot of money in the health sector.
“About 25 percent of the Sh6 billion budget in Siaya County is spent on health. A good chunk of this money could be saved and used elsewhere for purposes of development if the government invests heavily in providing clean water to the residents,” Olima said.
Speaking at Kipasi secondary school in Bondo during the donation of a 16,000-litres capacity water tank to the local community today, Olima regretted that majority of patients seeking treatment at hospitals in the county are often diagnosed with diseases that could have been prevented with improved access to clean water.
She said that the laxity of leaders to provide clean water to the residents has cost the county millions of shillings in purchasing drugs to treat ailments that could have otherwise been prevented by prioritising clean water.
Dr Olima observed that despite the region being surrounded by two large water bodies namely lake Victoria and river Yala the residents still struggle to access clean water making them not only vulnerable to waterborne diseases but also impoverishing the residents.
She claimed that the dire situation has forced non-state actors like Geno development initiatives to take up the role of distributing free water tanks in Bondo Sub County to members of the community after the county government failed to provide accessible clean water.
“We have so far distributed 45 sixteen-thousand litres water tanks for community use in Bondo Sub County to alleviate the perennial water problem. The tanks have been fixed in markets, schools and churches for easy access by members of the public,” she disclosed.
By Brian Ondeng’