Residents from remote villages in Kalemnyang area in Riwo ward, West Pokot County have a reason to smile following the drilling of water boreholes courtesy of the County Government to curb water scarcity in the semi-arid area.
Residents have been trekking for more than 15 kilometers in search of water while herders migrate to the neighboring Country Uganda in search of pasture and water during dry seasons.
However, the bore holes drilling project will now boost accessibility of water in the water scarce areas hit by drought.
The bore holes are along the main livestock migration route to Uganda and will see residents in the semi-arid region have access to clean and safe water.
Area Governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo said the project will help address water shortage and challenges in the area adding it was delayed for two years running after the water rig broke down and heavy rainfall that led to landslides in the area.
Lonyangapuo noted that a total of five boreholes have been sunk in the area and more than fifty drilled in the County.
“From January to March we experience drought .The boreholes will cushion residents and livestock from thirst,” he said.
He noted that residents in the remote village will now access clean water from the boreholes for domestic use.
Lonyangapuo pointed out that residents can now take up agricultural activities through irrigation as well as revive livestock rearing in these areas.
‘The area is dry and residents have been facing hunger due to lack of water for farming,” he said.
The County boss who spoke at Morioko village while inspecting the project said that the borehole was prioritized for support after dry season grazing areas came under pressure due to influx of livestock from other areas.
“This led to high concentration of animals around the few strategic boreholes migrated,” he said.
He said that the situation further posed a high risk of outbreak of diseases, resource based conflict and break down of boreholes.
“Residents used to have many conflicts and now will reduce” said Lonyangapuo.
The Governor said that access to clean water among the residents will drastically reduce water-borne diseases in the area.
“The project will help residents avoid congestion while drawing water from the borehole. Locals used to fight while drawing water .We have invested to ensure increased access to sustainable and safe water supply for area residents and school children, “he said.
A local Mr. Luke Kanyangareng said that dirty water attributed to effects of waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid will significantly reduce hence improved hygiene.
“It was hard for children to use the hand pump .We used to take water from the neighboring rivers which is very alkaline and green and as a result we used to visit the local dispensary daily. The access to clean water has reduced such cases,” he said.
He said that pastoralists in the area are now relieved as livestock can easily access water.
“Our animals will now get water easily as we migrate to search for pasture in Uganda. The borehole speeds up the work,”said Kanyangareng.
He said that they have been depending on dirty water from lagers.
Mrs. Joyce Chakamol a local noted that the borehole will help improve the social life of locals “We laud the County government for the project .We have been facing many challenges walking long distances even expectant mothers miscarry. Bees have been attacking us while taking tea when searching for water,” she said.