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More than 10,000 residents from Kisumu County will benefit from the supply of clean, safe and affordable drinking water in a project launched by Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO) and the Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Ksh28 million project will focus on the people in low income areas who face difficulties in accessing tap water and forced to buy from vendors whose sources include streams, lake and boreholes whose water quality cannot be ascertained.

The 32-kilometer extension line will link Kunya in Manyatta, Arito in Seme, Kombedu in Bandani, Katito and Nyalenda. This will be the first time the residents will get access to piped water.

It will draw its water from Lake Victoria through KIWASCO’s Dunga and River Kibos in Kajulu and go through various stages of treatment before being released to the Kibuye Reservoir for storage and distribution.

In the last 15years, there has been immense interest in Kisumu by various international partners keen to work with us on various projects including water. The interest in water in Kisumu has seen development partners put in a substantial amount of money that has completely changed our water supply situation. Today, we are proud to be the only city in Kenya that is water secure until the year 2030.

Speaking during the launch event at Kunya Manyatta, Kisumu County Executive Committee member for Water, Salmon Orimba said the project will source labour from the local community.

“We encourage Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company to put into good use the funds that KIWASH has donated to implement the project,” he said adding that the discussions are already going on with Kiwasco on how to ensure that locals will be able to secure meters and connect water to their households now that it has been brought to them.

KIWASCO Acting Managing Director Mr. Thomas Odongo said: We are delighted that this project has been launched, it will enable communities living in the various areas to access clean piped water and improve sanitation services which we know are critical for raising healthier families.”

KIWASH Governance Manager (Western) Mr Calvince Odera on his part challenged the County Government of Kisumu working through KIWASCO to ensure that the project is fully implemented on behalf of the donor (USAID).

“Despite of the availability of water in the lakeside city, we realized that the infrastructure is lacking and thus the partnership. “I appeal to the community to ensure that at least 500 households connect the water to their households, this is the only way the donor will consider the project successful,” he said.

Upon completion of the project, he pointed out that KIWASCO will enjoy operational efficiency due to reduced cases of vandalism. The project has an implementation period of three months.

“Most cases of destruction of KIWASCO pipes were reported in the informal settlements where the residents lacked access to clean water,” said Mr Odera.