News Column

Sh1.3 Billion for Water Project

June 23, 2014

Martin Mwita

THE Mombasa county government has launched an improvement plan to increase the provision of drinking water from 70 to 90 per cent. Environment executive Fatma Awale yesterday said the county government has already secured USD 16 million about Sh 1.3 billion as part of the project.

According to Awale, The Dutch government and the World Bank will each fund the project equally, to improve water supply in informal settlements in the county.

Speaking during an interview with the Star in Mombasa yesterday, she said the project will also see sewerage and sanitation in the county improve from 15 percent to 60percent in the next five years.

"We expect to finalize the MoU by August to have more funds for the project. I am convinced that the plan we have stands a chance to improve water supply for Mombasa residents," said Awale.

First beneficiaries of the project will include Jomvu, Likoni, Mtongwe and Changamwe residents. Awale who jetted back into the country last week from the urban water services workshop in Amsterdam, Netherlands, said a major overhaul of the pipes and storage systems in the county will be done.

The event was organized by Vitens Evides International and World Waternet. "With smart initial investments, we can replace the existing aging drinking water pipes and put in sewage pipes simultaneously," she said.

Awale said the county government is already working with the Dutch government to cut down on vandalism, illegal connections and monitoring of pipes. The Dutch government is also assisting Mombasa on modes of coming up with non- revenue water.

"If we are able to increase our water services to 24/7, people stop buying expensive bottled water from vendors and start using more tap water. Our income will increase and this will enable us to finance our plan to have a tap for every household in Mombasa and start treating the sewage water," said Awale.

The county government has so far launched two major water projects in Nyali and Likoni which include lying down of new pipes and storage systems. Awale said the impact of the project will start being felt in six months time.

She said plans to construct the 200,000 cubic meters Mwoche Dam are at an advanced stage which will see Mombasa get an additional 110 cubic meters of water daily.

Currently, Mombasa gets 46,000 cubic meters against a demand of 186,000 cubic meters. The county depends on water from Baricho (Kilifi), Mzima springs in Taita Taveta and Marere and Tiwi bore holes in Kwale.

"We have several innovative plans which include disalitating the Indian Ocean water among other future plans to avail clean water to the people," said Awale.

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Source: AllAfrica

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