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Thousands of households in Nakuru to benefit from national gov't emergency water program – Capital FM Kenya

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NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 16 – Over 100,000 households in Nakuru County are set to benefit from a national government emergency water extension program targeting densely populated and low-income areas in the area. The Sh500m project targets to supply an additional 30,000 cubic meters per day to cushion the County from the ever-rising demand for water.
The project which is being implemented by the national government through Athi Water Works Development Agency will see a total of 50 boreholes sunk in the larger Nakuru region with Naivasha’s Kihoto slums, Karati-Delamere, and Wei-Maseno dispensary in Subukia Constituency, being some of the mapped areas.
Speaking during an inspection tour of the projects, Athi Water Works Development Agency CEO Eng. Michael Thuita said the project is currently at 55 per cent and once complete, will go a long way in improving the general well-being of Nakuru residents – especially with the County soon becoming a City.
“We are planning to complete this program in less than three months. As we all know, water is an important commodity in human life and the impact is going to be huge as we are going to reduce on the time lost by the community in fetching for water and that time can be used to do other economic activities. We will also provide kiosks to low-income areas and informal settlements where they will be able to draw water at very low cost or no cost at all,” said Eng. Thuita.
In June 2021, the Senate adopted a report tabled by the House Devolution Committee that recommended Nakuru Municipality to become the fourth city in Kenya after Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. The adoption now awaits President Uhuru Kenyatta’s final approval.
However, the County falls short of adequate daily water supply with the demand estimated to be 70,000 cubic metres per day. According to Nakuru Urban Water and Sanitation Company, NAWASCO, the current supply stands at 40,000 cubic metres and with the town’s status about to be elevated, partnerships among utilities and other government agencies are crucial to avoid rampant rationing.
“The day population in the area we are currently serving within the limits of the city is slightly over a million. The night population which is what the last census looked at is approximately 530,000 people. With the increase in water available it means we will be supplying close to 95% of that population with that water,” said NAWASSCO managing Director, James Ng’ang’a.
In Naivasha Sub-County for instance, one of the targeted areas is Kihoto slums, a low-income area with a population of about 20,000 inhabitants. The area has for a long time been faced with water and sanitation challenges that have not only affected their day-to-day activity but also threatened the lives of some of its residents.

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Kihoto location sub-chief Philip Mariri says the saline water has affected their social life and killed the dreams of their children. He has called on both National and County governments to expedite the mitigation measures.
“Our children have been affected by the water in this area. Most of them suffer from tooth decay and as such, they rarely even succeed in police recruitments because they are not strong enough and their teeth do not meet the required standards,” said Mariri.
Naivasha Sub-County is the biggest beneficiary of the emergency extension program with 16 boreholes sunk so far in different schools, slums and health facilities. The program also entails construction of water kiosks in targeted densely populated areas within Nakuru County. The program will be launched in January, 2022.

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