Kakamega County has an ambitious plan to supply piped water to 80 percent of its close to two million people by 2022. “With the capacity development and infrastructure support we have received from Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project we are ready for take-off.
As a government, we are very confident in achieving this since we have recorded remarkable improvement in our water services. We envision having 750,000 people connected up from 450,000 by the end of 2019. This total coverage is projected to be 80 percent by the year 2022,” Explained Joseck Maloba, Chief Officer Water.
KIWASH has assisted the county government in developing their policy and legislation that will guide their water services. According to Joseck, to achieve this milestone, the ministry’s budget has been increased from KES 130 million to KES 400 million in the fiscal year 2018-2019. The increased funding will help them carryout a data collection exercise to update their water services information and connect critical institutions such as schools and health center to piped water.
The continued partnership between KIWASH and the county government is aimed at improving the water sector. The Kakamega County Bill has been assented to by the county governor and is expected to provide the legal framework for governance of water resources in Kakamega County. “We are very grateful for the continued support we have received from KIWASH as a county government. We believe the invaluable technical assistance will go a long way in improving the water sector,” pointed John Baraza, Kakamega County Minister for Water, Environment and Natural Resources.
Some of the ongoing changes towards realizing the vision 2022 include taking over management of struggling community water services. The Kakamega County Water and Sanitation Company (KACWASCO) now manages Butere, Matunda, Soy and Kongoni water services. To compliment these efforts, KIWASH assisted KACWASCO to lay an over five kilometer pipeline in Kakamega town. This included an extension to Bishop Stam area and construction of a 10,000 liter water tower that will serve 6,000 people.
“KIWASH has really helped us improve water services through projects that are aligned to the government’s agendas. We now plan to create a water company to operate community water utilities for uniformity of service and sustainability of the water services in the rural towns and villages,” concludes John.
Through KIWASH’s support, KACWASCO has implemented electronic billing and eliminated cash transactions. These interventions have seen the water utility increase its revenue from Kenya Shillings 12 million to Kenya Shillings 17 per month. It is expected to reach Kenya Shilling 25 million by the year 2022.