Kisii is among eight counties in Western Kenya that will benefit from a 24 -million dollar grant to help improve both urban and rural water infrastructure.
The five-year initiative is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Western Kenya Water Project (WKWP).
Speaking in a Kisii Hotel during a workshop that brought together stakeholders in the water sector and financial institutions, Governor Simba Arati indicated that the project will increase sustained access to water services across the county.
“My administration is grateful that our county has been considered for the grant in the USAID WKWP set to enable thousands of Kisii County residents access clean and safe drinking water,” said the Governor.
Governor Arati said that the programe will see an increased and well-maintained water supply in urban areas through the Gusii Water and Sanitation Company (GWASCO) adding that he has directed officers in the water department to ensure that there is efficient water reticulation in the rural areas.
“Guided by the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), Annual Development Plan (ADP) and the Budget, my administration plans to focus on protection of water springs, rehabilitation of water schemes, drilling of additional boreholes and equipping of the existing ones.
These will spare our mothers and sisters the pain of traveling long distances in such of the special commodity,” said the Governor.
“My office will involve all stakeholders including elected leaders in all the 45 wards so that we can come up with a viable plan that will see a majority of Kisii county residents benefit from this noble project,” said Arati.
Deputy Governor Dr. Robert Monda observed that the county will work hand in hand with the partner to ensure that the project is fully implemented so as both the urban and rural population can access safe water.
Dr. Monda called on all the stakeholders involved to work tirelessly towards the success of the project.
Patrick Mburu, the project’s Governance/Urban Water Specialist, elaborated that the WKWP employs an efficient and collaborative locally-led approach that uses the natural, human, and financial resources available in the counties.
“We will emphasize on promoting the inclusion of women and youth through participatory process, capacity-building, partnerships and creation of leadership and employment opportunities within the sector,” said Mburu.
Japhet Mbuvi, the project’s Chief of Party noted that the project draws together the different components critical to county-wide sustained service delivery both in rural and urban water services, Water Resource Management (WRM), and the good governance and financing strategies that help a sector to grow and satisfy customers.
“The team will work within five components namely; Urban Water Services, Rural Water Services, Water Resource Management, Finance and Private Sector Engagement and Policy and Governance,” said Mbuvi.