NAKURU, Kenya, Mar 23 – The Nakuru County Government has set aside Sh196.4 million for water projects, Governor Kinuthia Mbugua has said.
Mbugua said the move to find long and short-term water shortage solutions will contribute towards sustainable development in the county.
‘Nakuru is a water scarce county at the moment with very few rivers flowing and we, therefore, have to invest heavily by drilling boreholes, construct dams and also share water resources from other counties,’ he said in a speech read by the Deputy Governor Joseph Ruto during the World Water Day celebrations at Ndugiri Secondary School in Subukia Sub-County,
The governor pointed out that water coverage in Nakuru has increased to 58 percent up from 42pc through drilling of boreholes, increased pipe reticulation and rehabilitation of existing water projects.
He said that in the last one year, the county has been able to drill 14 boreholes, de-silted and constructed 28 water pans with a storage capacity of 370,000 cubic meters.
“My government has also been able to construct 6 elevated water towers each with 20 cubic meters storage tanks and to extend pipe networks in 17 projects across the county,” he noted.
Mbugua added that the county will also spend Sh14mn to construct several water projects in Subukia to cover areas of Ndungiri, Rumathi, Upper Kirengero, Muungano, Tetu, Kianyoro and Edgewood.
He however observe that some areas in the county especially Molo, Njoro, Kuresoi North, Rongai, Naivasha and Kiamunyi have been adversely affected by water shortage which has forced the county to seek other short term measures.
He said major long-term solutions are in the works including the construction of Chemususu Dam in partnership with Rift Valley Water Services Board which oversees the development and management of water resources in eight counties including Nakuru and Baringo.
“Plans are at an advanced stage of the construction of Chemususu Dam to cover the 1st phase. This will go a long way in addressing the emerging water shortages that we are currently facing,” he said.
He also confirmed that another project is at an advanced stage that will see the construction of Itare Dam in Ndoinet Kuresoi North.
“This will be the construction of the largest dam in Kenya that will be piped to Molo, Njoro, Rongai and Nakuru Town.
However, Governor Mbugua has urged Nakuru residents to also play their part in conserving water.
He added that various short term measures have been effected including rationing where necessary, water distribution by tankers where the County has committed 16,000 litre tankers to deliver water to critical areas and facilities like hospitals.
He also urged farmers to invest in rainwater harvesting structures such as water pans which will help store water when the rain season starts thus averting water shortage.
On his part, Deputy Governor Ruto called on the County Assembly to pass laws regarding the conservation of rivers saying that people have encroached and cultivated around the rivers posing a danger to catchment areas.
He called on residents living along rivers to plant more trees.