The CEO of WSTF – Mr Ismail Shaiye,
Project Manager PEWAK – Miss Lieke Nijk,
Chairman of the Board of Directors KIWASCO – Mr Israel Agina,
MD of KIWASCO – Eng. David Onyango,
Board members and staff of KIWASCO,
Our distinguished guests from Kachok/Manyatta Communities,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am filled with joy and pride to witness the commissioning of such an important venture. The development for our people, especially the urban poor, is a matter very close to my heart. I am therefore touched to be part of this commissioning of Manyatta and Kachok community water projects.
Just recently Nairobi and other major towns were hard hit by the forces of nature when drought struck thereby reducing water levels in Ndakaini Dam and other water sources for treatment. Rationing was introduced and is still on-going up to now. In Northeastern Kenya, people lost loved ones, food and water became a scarce commodity due to the raging droughts.
I mention this because nature has nourished us as people of Kisumu. Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company has ensured 24/7 water supply to Kisumu residents. We can only read the tale-tale stories of water scarcity from the newspapers and watching on TV or listening to radio. Today, we celebrate a new way of harnessing the life-giving power of water.
We are greeting the dawn of a new life that is aimed at increasing individual household connections. We can all attest to the fact that water is available in plenty but a considerable number of residents in the low income areas of Kisumu are not having piped water connections to their houses. This is the common denominator between the two projects we have commissioned today.
Indeed water is a basic need in our modern society. It sustains human, animal and plant life amongst other numerous benefits. It makes me happy to know that these projects have provided an opportunity for the community groups to manage them in order to empower themselves economically. Kachok Community (DMM) water project will be run using the Delegated Management Model of service delivery where task ownership will be bestowed on the community. The water kiosks constructed in Manyatta and the pre-paid water points will also provide avenues for selected community groups and individual operators to earn a living through sale of water. This will strengthen Kisumu County government’s initiative to promote the creation of much needed employment.
In the past, most of our people in the low income areas had to do without easy access to clean water. In most cases this meant having to walk long distances to search for the commodity. There was exploitation from the few available water vendors who sold water at exorbitant prices and this denied many residents access to clean potable water, hence the many cholera cases witnessed. But now under the able management of the current Managing Director Eng. David Onyango and the Board of Directors led by Chairman Israel Agina, Kisumu is not only a water secure city but also has high quality water supply.
But bringing water to people’s homes is a very expensive affair especially as we get deeper and deeper into the expansive Kisumu County. However, this has been made possible by the collaboration between KIWASCO and other donor and partner organizations. On that note, I would like to thank Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF) and Vitens Evides International (VEI) for having embarked on a joint venture to contribute towards increasing water supplying in the low income areas of Kisumu.
The (Performance Enhancement for Water Utilities in Kenya) PEWAK project being supported by VEI will cost about Ksh 19M and entails installing 45 No. of prepaid meters that are expected to serve over 40 households hence 10,800 beneficiaries. The same project will also connect 200 households with stand water pipes hence benefiting 1200 residents of Kachok.
WSTF 7th call is a grant given to KIWASCO to a tune of about Ksh 11M. The project has since seen construction of 3 No. kiosks that are currently being run by the local community. Pipe networks have also been extended to facilitate individual household connections. I vividly remember launching the project in Manyatta in April last year and it is amazing that it now completed.
WSTF and VEI are not new to us because there are several other projects KIWASCO has implemented in partnership with them and we look forward to more partnerships in future. To the CEO of WSTF and project manager PEWAK, We thank you for your continued support, our people say erokamano.
Such development projects are central to the government’s policy on increasing access to water supply and sanitation for all Kenyans. I know what we have today is just work on progress because the number of homes with individual water connections need to increase in the low income areas of Kisumu.
Nevertheless, we can proudly say that we are on the right path. Kisumu water coverage currently stands at 72% against the National water coverage of 52%. The population of service is highest in the low income areas standing at 60%. Even with this huge population, water has been made cheaper for you (Kachok and Manyatta communities). A 20-litre jerrycan vends for only Ksh 1 and this is made easier if one has an individual connection. I therefore urge those who have not applied for individual connections to do so.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the community of Kachok/Manyatta as recipients of this project, and as participants in making it happen. You are taking the lead in an important process that could benefit many of your compatriots in other parts of the country.
You should never forget how important it is for you to pay for the services that are made available to you. These projects need to sustain themselves so that funds can be released to provide services to those who still do not have them.
I want to urge you therefore to continue as partners in development, because we must all join hands in building our nation.
Once again, I thank WSTF and Vitens Evides International for this wonderful project. Your support to us is invaluable.
Ladies and Gentlemen; I now declare the Kachok Community (DMM) / Manyatta Community water community projects officially commissioned.