Over 20, 000 residents of Solio settlement scheme in Laikipia County will have access to clean water for domestic consumption and irrigation by September this year.
The County Executive Committee Member for Water, Environment and Natural Resources, Njenga Kahiro and Tigithi ward MCA, Mutahi Muritu on Wednesday toured the project to assess its progress.
The Sh.143million water project launched in April this year is set to benefit hundreds of families resettled 10 years ago after eviction from government forests.
It has been funded by Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF) which has contributed Sh.118million towards the project with Laikipia County Government having already made an upfront of Sh.23.2million.
The squatters who were evicted from Mt Kenya forest in 1990s had been living on roadside until 2009 when the then First Lady Lucy Kibaki ordered their resettlement. They have been facing challenges in their new place with poorly developed infrastructure and relying on a single borehole that serves seven villages.
The Laikipia Governor, Ndiritu Muriithi witnessed the signing of the multimillion project between Nanyuki Water and Sewerage Company (NAWASCO) and directors of Mbiwa Contractors who won the tender to undertake the project.
The NAWASCO Managing Director, Eng. Kennedy Gitonga and Mbiwa Contractors MD, Joseph Warui appended their signatures on behalf of the two parties.
“The work will commence immediately and will entail rehabilitation of the intake at River Honi in the Aberdare National Park. After that, gravity lines will be laid on a distance of 31Km to the seven villages at Solio Settlement Scheme,” explained Governor Muriithi after witnessing the signing.
The governor warned the contractor against doing shoddy work and lamented that Laikipia County has been getting a raw deal where local road construction companies took years to complete upgrading a small section of road compared to foreign contractors who do perfect work within a short time.
“We have several water projects planned for Laikpia North and Laikipia West Sub-counties in the future. So whoever wins the tender to do the job must do it satisfactorily and within the given timelines,” said the governor.
Kahiro yesterday noted that the contractor has done over five kilometers of lying pipes and was also constructing tanks for water storage.
By Martin Munyi