Water Board pledges to improve Kisii water supply by September

Lake Victoria South Water Services Board has stepped up implementation of the multibillion water projects in Kisii County to ease water supply challenges in the region.

The projects funded by the German Bank (KfW) and ORIO of Netherlands include rehabilitation and expansion of the Kisii Water Supply Works, construction of Bonyunyu dam and development of a mini hydro at Nyakwana Falls.

Speaking during a courtesy call on Governor James Ongwae at his office, Board Chairman Ambassador John Koech said rehabilitation of Kegati and Nyakomisaro water supplies that began in October last year will be complete in September this year.

The rehabilitation that cost KShs.100million involves rehabilitation of the water distribution network, water storage reservoirs to restore the original design capacity of 6million litres of water per day.

"We are fast tracking implementation of these projects to alleviate the suffering of Kisii County residents because the sight of carts ferrying water Jerri cans is worrying. Due to increasing population and poor protection of the environment, we must craft sustainable solutions to our water challenges. This is why we are building a high dam to conserve water during rainy seasons," explained Amb. Koech.

Nyakomisaro water supply built in 1932 has a capacity of 600cubic metres of water per day while Kegati Water Supply built in 1978 has a capacity of 6000 cubic metres of water daily.

Governor James Ongwae noted that currently, the two water supplies produce only half of their design capacity yet the demand for Kisii Town stands at 18million litres daily. 45 per cent of the current water supply is lost through leakages, blocked pipes and valve systems, illegal water connections among others.

"We have serious water supply challenges in Kisii County due to lack of capacity by GWASCO to meet the demand. The water quality is also poor and these challenges have cost the county credibility yet GWASCO is meant to be independent. We need urgent intervention especially on the sewerage treatment works at Suneka," said Governor Ongwae.

Eng. Paul Agwanda explained that the filter system at Kegati Water Supply had not been replaced for over 10 years hence the poor water quality adding that the contractor has replaced it as part of the rehabilitation.

In the long term 1.5billion project that commenced in March this year, the existing sewerage system will be rehabilitated. Other works include construction of a 3.4km pipeline from Kegati to Bobaracho tanks, expansion of Kegati capacity from 6000cubic metres to 27,000 cubic metres daily, construction of 35km of new pipeline and a booster pumping station at Bobaracho.

Construction of Bonyunyu dam is set to begin in July 2018.