World Vision Kenya has handed over a water project worth Sh1.4billion to the Homa Bay county government.
The Kodera Rachuonyo Gravity Water Project is set to serve the residents of Kasipul and Karachuonyo constituencies, including supplying nearby schools with clean and piped water.
Speaking at Pala Village during the handing over ceremony, the NGO’s Country Director Geoffrey Kativa expressed his satisfaction over the project saying that they are leaving the region in a better condition than they had found it.
Kativa said that when they started the project in 2014, a number of households and schools lacked clean drinking water.
“We are very happy as an organization, since we are leaving behind a project which will really change the lives of a number of people,” he said.
He stated that before the project, residents walked for long distances in search of water, which was not safe for consumption, thus exposing them to waterborne diseases.
“Before we came here, residents were faced with frequent cholera outbreaks due to consumption of contaminated water. They also had to walk for more than 5 kilometers to fetch water from unimproved water sources such as ponds, the lake, dams, springs, rivers and streams,” he said.
The director said that they have managed to establish 14 water pans, 80 roof catchment water tanks and two water supply schemes in Pala alone, under the project.
Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga commended the NGO for undertaking the project in Homa Bay saying it was in line with their campaign pledges to the people.
Wanga said they promised that during her tenure as the Governor, no woman will walk for over 1km in search of clean drinking water and she is happy that the project will help in achieving that.
“During our campaigns, we promised that no woman will have to walk more than a kilometer in search of water and I am happy that the project is taking us to that direction,” she said.
She appealed to World Vision to continue providing technical support to ensure the project does not stall due to technical issues.
At the same time, the governor assured residents of other areas that her government is committed to ensuring that every household and school within Homa Bay get access to clean water.
Wanga stated that since it’s a joint project between the County Government and the NGO, they will play their part by ensuring that extension of pipes reaches other areas.
“We do not want the project to serve only those in high places, we will extend it to low lands so that it can reach everyone. The project is like a relay race, once handed over the stick, one must ensure he or she finishes the race,” she stated.
Deputy Governor Oyugi Magwanga on his part said it was their responsibility as a government to complete the remaining work of the project.
He however appealed to the residents to take the project as their own and ensure it was safe and well maintained.
By Brian Odhiambo and Sitna Omar