Residents of Kiruo village in Rangwe Sub County are concerned over vandalism at the Rangwe Integrated Water Project by unknown people.
They lamented the destruction and theft of the project’s parts, including solar panels, that left them without water for a long period of time.
The project, which consisted of a borehole, pipes, and 16 solar panels, was constructed in 2013 by the County Government of Homa Bay.
The residents, led by Walter Opiyo, said the borehole served them for two years before it was vandalized due to poor management.
“The borehole served us for two years until it broke down due to administration issues because those in charge were not vigilant,” he said.
With this, residents saw the project as useless, a situation that exposed its parts to theft, where all 16 solar panels were stolen.
Speaking on Thursday, Opiyo said the water project is now operational after it was restored to its former state a few weeks ago.
However, the residents are now worried that the new machines might be vandalized again and have appealed to other residents to refrain from doing so.
“I appeal to my fellow residents not to vandalize the project’s parts because it was constructed for their own benefit. Water is life, and when it’s available, it reduces the chances of contracting water-borne diseases,” Opiyo noted.
Before the project was restored, the area residents relied on the River Rangwe, which is seasonal for domestic use.
Opiyo said the water from the river is unclean and not safe for consumption, adding that if the water project is vandalized time and again, there will be a likelihood of a water shortage in the area, especially with climate change.
“When you vandalize a project that would have served you with water regardless of whether there is rain or not, then you will be exposing yourselves to water shortages and other challenges that come with them,” he informed.
By Sitna Omar