The National Government will implement projects to improve the water supply in Kitui to address the perennial water shortage in the county.
National Water and Irrigation Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Kiprono Ronoh said that his Ministry had identified critical water projects that will be implemented across Kitui to improve water supply and tame the historical water shortage in the semi-arid County.
The PS made the remarks Friday while addressing the media after he paid a courtesy call to Governor Dr. Julius Malombe.
“The county requires 50,000m3 of water to address the shortage from the current supply of 11,000m3 available, which is too little for the county consumption demands,” the PS stated.
He underscored that his Ministry will work on increasing water supply volumes from the two main dams to the county. The Kitui-Masinga Water Supply project will be upgraded to jet in 18000m3 while the Kiambere-Mwingi Water Supply Project will be extended to provide clean water to Mwingi regions.
“In the Ministry’s Water Master Plan of constructing 100 dams across the country, the Ministry will focus on completing the Mwingi-Kiambere water supply project, Kitimui dam in Kitui West, Thwake dam which will serve the three Kamba counties of Kitui, Makueni, and Machakos, the stalled Umaa dam project in Kitui Central then embark on the Kindaruma-Kiomo-Mwingi-Migwani pipeline project among others to increase water supply to the locals,” said Kiprono.
He added that the government aims at drilling boreholes in several schools across the county whose water will be distributed to the community as well.
“The government has plans to address water strategically by building infrastructure to supply water to more households,” the PS affirmed.
On disposal of the town’s liquid waste, he noted that plans are underway to unbloat the Kitui town sewerage system and to install solarization of water pumping systems at the sewerage plant.
Owing to the high cost of power incurred by the local water company, the PS revealed that the ministry will adopt the use of solar power to reduce the cost that currently seats at Ksh10 million. The government is also putting measures in place to monitor water flow from the source by the use of technology hubs linked to Google maps in efforts to reduce losses incurred, resulting from damages and vandalism of water pipes as well as the unmetered.
“The water loss in Kitui County is at 52 percent, as a result of culprits damaging water infrastructure and leakages. Out of a single m³ per day, we lose 52 percent, and that is what we call non-revenue water. The percentage results from leakages, commercial issues, or other damages of infrastructure,” explained Ronoh.
The PS gave a stern warning to culprits involved in the vandalization of the water infrastructures. “I expect the County Government and the County Commissioner to ensure that all culprits who vandalize water infrastructure are brought to book,” the PS directed the security agents.
While hosting the PS at his office, Kitui Governor Julius Malombe said the move by the Ministry to reduce water loss will increase the availability of the commodity for use in rural homes, institutions, and Irrigation among its other numerous uses, noting that it was a milestone towards achieving water sufficiency in the county and beyond.
“The need to manage NRW better and protect precious water resources has become increasingly important in our county. Non-revenue water (NRW) management allows utilities to expand and improve service, enhance financial performance, make our towns and environs more attractive, increase climate resilience and reduce energy consumption,” Governor Malombe added.
The PS and the Governor Signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) on joint work on controlling non-revenue water losses, reconstruction of water infrastructures, and the need to replace the current meters with smart meters.
“The signing of an MoU with the National Government is a step forward towards reducing unbilled authorized consumption of water, apparent losses and real losses that range from transmission mains, storage facilities to distribution mains or service connections,” Governor Malombe added.
Governor Malombe also observed his government is working towards reducing non-revenue water from 52 percent to 2 percent within two years.