, MACHAKOS, Kenya, Jun 30 – Perennial water problems in Matungulu Sub County, in Machakos County might be a thing of the past after the completion of Ngalalya borehole which will have the potential to generate about sixty-eight cubic meters of water per hour, according to water engineers working on the multi-million shilling project.
The project, an initiative of the Kenyan government will ensure regular water supply to at least 200,000 households after the completion of reticulation works on the country’s second largest underground water source. The borehole will be ready for commissioning in the next two weeks.
The undertaking of was done at a cost of Sh120 million with two other elevated tanks with a capacity of 250 and 150 cubic meters erected in Tala and Kisukioni markets respectively.
Already, a 500 cubic meter tank has been constructed at an elevated site, some four kilometers from the borehole, complete with high volume underground piping.
In the recent past, Machakos, among other counties, has been forced to resort to water rationing to ensure equitable distribution of the scarce resource.
The project was begun way back in 2010 and stalled for several years due to rampant vandalism of pipes, according to local residents.
“It took the intercession of area provincial administration to array full time patrol officers day and night to ensure safety of all key installations of the project,” said George Mutiso, a local resident.
“We have been relying on water kiosks which have not been consistent in supply of the commodity due to high demand. But now with the current volumes being generated here we are guaranteed of constant supply round the year,” he says.
Ngalalya-Matungulu water project, is a pumped scheme with gravity pipelines and a source at Ngalalya borehole located in Ngalalya 9 km North west of Kisukioni market, in Matungulu Constituency of Machakos County.
It is 8km from the Tala-Nairobi highway off the at Kantafu junction. The supply area covers Tala, Nguluni, Komarock and Kisukioni locations. The entire area lies between 50km South East of Nairobi town and stretches for about 18km to the South East (i.e. from Ngalalya to Tala). The water will serve the people living at the area and the institutions adjacent to the pipeline route.
Ngalalya borehole water intake has a yield of 65m3/hr amounting to a total water production of 1300m3/day assuming a 20hr pumping period per day. Ngalalya-Matungulu Water Supply Project will extract 60 per cent i.e. 720m3/day of the borehole yield as per the WRMA rules and regulations on ground water extraction.
Kisukioni, Katangini, Matuu, Ngalalya, and Tala Market towns shall be served by a storage tank of capacity 1500 m3 while their shall be a 100m3 steel elevated tank at Tala, and Nguluni. Water kiosks shall be positioned at strategic points. The project will serve a population of over 28,000 people when completed. The total cost of the project is estimated at Sh107 million.
It is expected that the project will augment the existing water sources as well as improve the lives of the people in the target area by providing portable water and thus reduce cost of living through minimising time spent travelling to long distances in search of water. It is also expected that the project will promote small industrial development. These, hopefully, will in due course improve income for residents of the area.