Water, Sanitation and Irrigation PS Dr Paul Kiprono has summoned the contractor implementing Multibillion Kirandich Dam phase 11 in Baringo County to a meeting in the next two weeks to unlock the problems bedevilling the construction works.
Dr Kiprono said it was imperative for the Italian contractor to explain how to resolve the works and fast-track completion of the project which has stalled since 2016 denying locals, particularly Kabarnet town residents the precious community.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on county commissioner Stephen Kutwa in his Kabarnet office before embarking on an extensive inspection and commissioning of water projects, the PS was informed that the delay in completion of the giant project is blamed on conditional grants which tied contractors to the financiers.
He stated that as a ministry they were committed to ensuring that the Kirandich dam and Kabarnet sewerage facility are done and brought into course so that within the next six months the works at the dam are meant to provide 9, 000 cubic metres of water per day to Kabarnet town is sorted out once and for all.
The PS accompanied by high-ranking ministry officials said they have agreed with county elected leaders to unlock all the problems and challenges facing the critical water infrastructure project that could have benefitted the residents a lot if accomplished on time.
Dr Kiprono expressed concern that over 60 per cent of the water generated from the Kirandich dam is lost daily through various pilferages, a situation he noted is one of the highest in the country due to myriad problems like illegal connections, vandalism and malpractices in meter reading.
“This situation must be stopped and those officers reading meters upside down should be disciplined. Again those found vandalizing structures and connecting water illegally must be arrested and prosecuted forthwith. We cannot allow a few individuals to sabotage government projects and we watch,” he reiterated as he confront the CEO of Kirandich Water Company for sleeping on the job.
During a courtesy call on Governor Benjamin Cheboi, the PS signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the county government on the development of water and non-water resources management in the vast county.
In the MOU, the ministry will support the Baringo county government to facilitate fixing non-revenue water resources occasioned by vandalism and saboteurs, fixing commercial issues of poor governance by Kirandich Water Company whose officers read water meters upside down and introducing the use of technology in the management of water.
“As a ministry, we recognize and appreciate the water challenges experienced in the county and through the collaboration we shall endeavour to assist the county fix these critical issues for the benefit of the people. Water is serious and we shall not take it lightly. Imagine the county is losing Sh 45 million of water per year. Where shall we get money to repay loans borrowed to develop these projects,” he restated.
He regretted that the water company is losing 900,000 cubic metres of water annually amounting to Sh 45 million in the form of revenue, a situation he observed, would have been minimized if illegal connections were prevented through good management by those entrusted with the responsibility.
On Chemususu water supply, the PS said that the national government through the state department of water is committed to ensuring the critical water infrastructure is completed within the next six months.
He said to fasten the completion of the water supply the government has allocated Sh 600 million this financial year to facilitate the distribution of all the water to end users within three sub-counties of Koibatek, Mogotio and Rongai in Nakuru county.
Dr Kiprono stated that once the last mile connectivity exercise of Chemususu is done it will provide 28,000 cubic metres of water per day to end users in homes, towns and institutions in the catchment areas.
He added that the project started in 2016 and is expected to serve a population of over 400, 000 is one of the country’s sustainable development goals (SDG) on clean water and sanitation.
The water PS was accompanied in the extensive inspection tour by members of parliament Joshua Kandie (Baringo Central), Joseph Makilap (Baringo North), William Kamket (Tiaty), Reuben Kiborek (Mogotio) and CEO Central Rift Water Works Development agency Samuel Oruma expressed concern that out of 142, 000 households in county only 15, 000 representing a paltry 10 per cent of them have been connected with piped water.
Governor Cheboi in his remarks, thanked the PS for considering the county in the initiatives saying that the county has so far sunk 317 boreholes, rehabilitated 57 water pans and drilled 61 new boreholes in a bid to alleviate the current water scarcity facing the county.
Governor Cheboi stated that the county government has purchased a drilling rig and requested one more rig to enable them to cover many areas critically in need of water.
He disclosed that his administration this financial year has allocated Sh 1 billion to the Department of Water and Sanitation for implementation of various programmes and projects.