Stakeholders drawn from Murang’a south sub county have agreed to convert a water supply project into a sewerage treatment plant.
Consequently, should relevant authorities approve the recommendation by the stakeholders, Saba saba water supply project will be converted into a sewage treatment plant, aimed at improving sanitation in the towns of Maragua and Saba Saba.
During a public participation held at Kenol town on Friday, stakeholders agreed that a sewerage treatment plant was needed considering that the areas have been suffering from water borne diseases.
The project under the Decentralized Treatment Facility Programme (DTF) to be funded by Water Sector Trust Fund to the tune of Sh.11million will see waste emptied from pit latrines taken there for treatment.
The Murang’a South Water and Sanitation Company (MUWASCO) MD, Mary Nyaga said the project had received support from leaders during a door to door visit in April as it was designed to improve hygiene in the areas.
Meanwhile, analysis done on water in the nearby Saba Saba river done by the Water Resource Authority (WRA) confirmed that it was polluted and not fit for human consumption.
“The water from the facility will be treated to the standards recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure it would not be harmful to the downstream users,” said Nyaga.
Under the programme, 200 modern toilets will be constructed in Saba Saba and Maragua areas at a cost of Sh.6.5 million through the Water Sector Trust Fund.
But on her part, the Maragua MP, Mary Waithera opposed the Sh.11 million project, stating that water that will be drained from the facility will pollute the Saba Saba river.
The MP argued that the river was the only source of water for the residents living downstream in Kamahuha and Kambiti wards in her constituency.
“There is a sewage treatment plant in Murang’a town and people can use it. Putting another one here is not urgent but its implementation had already started even before approval by Nema,” observed Waithera.
But MCAs, Amos Murigi (Kimorori), Karanja Kabera (Kamahuha) Mburu wa Muthoni (Kagundu) and Stanley Mburu (Makuyu) supported establishment of the project that has been proved to be effective after undergoing testing in other counties.
They said Maragua, Kenol, Kabati and Saba Saba markets have been affected by water borne diseases over the years, which will be reduced through effective management of waste water.
Murigi said the leaders should support the establishment of short-term projects, awaiting construction of a major sewerage project to serve parts of Murang’a South.
The Murang’a Nema Director, Patricia Wambua and the county executive for Lands, Sarah Masaki said all the procedures on the waste management project should be adhered to before resumption of construction.
Wambua said the project despite being vital in improving hygiene of the urban areas, was started by Murang’a South MUWASCO without certification by Nema.
However, Water Trust Fund officials, Stella Warue and Annie Obaya said the DTF programme has been initiated in 31 other counties, where 13 of them were already in operation.
Warue said similar projects have been implemented in Ol Kalou, Nakuru, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos and Embu among other area.
By Bernard Munyao