The Ministry of Water and Sanitation has stepped up plans of ensuring that eight out 10 homesteads access clean drinking water. Speaking in Vihiga County when he launched two water projects, Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui stressed the commitment of the government to ensuring that clean drinking water is supplied to every Kenyan homestead across the County.
He pointed out a good working relationship between the national and County governments as a crucial element in the achievement of the 80 per cent water cover.
“We are setting up projects of ensuring that our national water coverage is increased from 60 per cent to 80 by the year 2020. The government is rolling out projects to help harness water across all the country. Vihiga County is among the first Counties to benefit from the program others being Kakamega, Bungoma and Uasin Gishu,” revealed Chelugui.
The Vihiga County Water Supply Program is funded by the Government of Belgium to the tune of Kshs 1.7 billion and it comprises of Lunyerere, Kaimosi and Maseno water projects.
The projects expected to be completed by October 2019, will serve close to 350,000 people from Vihiga and other neighbouring counties.
The County has a total of 48 percent water coverage which the CS said should be increased to 60 percent when the launched projects reach be completion.
Construction of Kaimosi and Maseno Water Projects has kicked off, whereas installation of Lunyerere Water project is yet to kick off due to land issues.
Present during the exercise was Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo who revealed that land issues surrounding the said project will be a forgotten thing should engagements between his government and other relevant agencies bear fruits.
“We acknowledge that the County is densely populated and as a result, there is pressure on the existing pieces of land. We have tried to engage owners of land around where the project is to be set to give us the two and a half acres required but looks like they are not ready to. Efforts are still in place but if we don’t reach an agreement we will urge the National Land Commission to come in and invoke Compulsory Land Acquisition Law,” said Ottichilo.
Meanwhile, Governor Ottichilo hailed the national government’s commitment to achieving the Big Four Agenda and urged all County units to support the move.