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Water Ministry plans to work with counties on run-off water harvesting

The National water harvesting and storage agency will work closely with the county governments to come up with ways that run-off water going to waste could be harvested for domestic and commercial use.
Water Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Andrew Tuimur said the idea was to harness and store runoff rain water that goes to waste annually and that could be used for small scale irrigation by farmers as well as for domestic use instead of resorting to borehole drilling all the time.
The CAS said water has to be recharged and if we continue to drill, the country might exhaust its water reservoirs.
“We want to work with the county governments through water agencies in the ministry to improve water coverage from the current 60% to 100% as envisaged by the government’s Vision 2030,” said Dr. Tuimur while on a fact finding mission on the progress of Kipkaren Dam water project in Uasin Gishu County.
The CAS said it was unfortunate that Uasin Gishu County has more than 300 dams that were constructed in the 1920’s by colonial farmers but have been left to waste away. “We are discussing with the county on how the dams can be de-silted and be used once again by wananchi,” he said.
Dr. Tuimur also observed that Eldoret town was growing rapidly and the demand for water was increasing significantly.
“Eldoret town is still a water deficit town with a current capacity of only 40,000 cubic metres, and with the rapid growth, we need to move to 60,000 cubic metres by 2025 to sustain the demand for water which will continue to rise,” said the CAS.
He however noted that with the Sh1.2 billion Kipkaren Dam water project which is expected to produce 25,000 cubic metres per day when complete, water capacity for the town would improve significantly.
He however took to task the contractor for the slow pace of implementing the project that he said was only at 7.7%.
“The contractor has been complaining of delay over tax exemption, but the issue has now been cleared. The issue of land where the supply tank will be erected will be cleared soon and we hope that the contractor will move with speed to ensure the project is completed within the timeline,” he said.
When complete, the project will be expected to serve the southern parts of Eldoret town including Elgon view, Langas, Kapseret, Kipkaren estate and Racecourse.
By Kiptanui Cherono

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