Muhuru, a small fishing village in West Kenya enjoys close proximity to Lake Victoria. However, the community could not enjoy clean drinking water as their community water project had stalled. “We started Muhuru Community Water and Sanitation (MUCOWAS) in 2012 but experienced enormous challenges soon after. They included high diesel costs, engine breakdowns, gate valve malfunction and pipe breakdowns increasing our no-revenue water loss,” said Enoch Waseka, Chairman of MUCOWAS.
In 2016, the Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project supported MUCOWAS revive its operations. This was through installation of a new water pump, solar power, electricity connection, automatic chlorine dispenser and rehabilitation of water tanks. The laying of new water pipes also enhanced water supply to homes and community institutions.
“We are very grateful that KIWASH came to assist us in 2016 through installation of new equipment and trainings. We are now very confident in the way we run our daily operations thanks to trainings such as business planning and operation, marketing, environmental sustainability and water sector reforms. Says Susan Aranga, who is MUCOWAS’ treasurer.
According to her, they serve a population of about 3,000 people and they hope to increase this to about 5,000 by extending their pipeline. They also plan to increase water kiosks to 16 up from 12. As of now, 17 schools with about 7,500 learners are supplied with water. In terms of revenue, MUCOWAS collects Kenya Shillings 45,000 monthly with a projection of Kenya Shillings 200,000 per month in the year 2019.
Apart from MUCOWAS, Wiser Girls Secondary School is also a beneficiary of KIWASH’s intervention. The school’s water infrastructure such as water tank, solar power and automated chlorine dispenser have been rehabilitated. This has generally boosted the water supply and also brought down power costs.
“We are very pleased with the coaching and mentoring support offered to MUCOWAS officials and the rehabilitation done to our water infrastructure. We are able to work closely and have constant water supply at a lower cost,” says Dorcas Oyugi, the Principal of Wiser Girls.