The provision of water to our people continues to be the single most important challenge and opportunity for developing and transforming our communities. It is three years now since we launched the ‘Kutwiikanya Kiwu’ programme as a strategy for enhancing community and household water harvesting in our County.
At the community level we have enhanced water storage infrastructure through construction of 98 earth dams and 45 sand dams and weirs while at the household and institutional levels we have promoted roof catchment as well as drilling of boreholes and extension of water pipeline networks.
Currently, 19 more sand dams are under construction. We have drilled 87 boreholes and equipped 39 others. 9 more boreholes are currently being drilled. Out of these, 24 boreholes have been drilled using the drilling rig that we recently acquired. It is our priority to distribute the water in all our boreholes since we have the resources in the 2017/2018 budget.
Our people are now carrying out irrigation farming using the water from the earth dams and sand dams. Some earth dams are also stocked with fish.
300 women groups have benefited from water tanks through the ‘Nzangule ya Matangi’ programme. 300 more groups are set to benefit from water tanks. This programme is promoting water accessibility and micro-irrigation initiatives in the County. The Department of Youth, Gender, Sports and Social Services has also distributed water tanks to youth and women groups while the Department of Education and ICT has distributed water tanks to primary schools and the Department of Health Services to health facilities.
The County still remains water deficient even with these interventions. This explains our decision to allocate 1 Billion Kenya Shillings for water projects in the 2017/2018 financial year. We are partnering with the South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) in mapping our water resources especially the location of sand dams and earth dams. A separate research on the capacity of our boreholes is currently being undertaken. This will lead to the development of a water policy and master plan.