Sh800m water project in Murang’a to ease health burden

nyewasco water

A man fetches water from a tap. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Residents of five towns in Murang’a County will benefit from a Sh800 million World Bank-funded water project to reduce the health burden associated with the lack of clean water.

Maragua, Nginda, Ichagaki, Kamahuha and Kambiti towns are targeted in the project, which is 80 percent complete and is expected to be launched mid next year.

County Deputy Director of Medical Services Dr Stephen Ngigi on Sunday said a majority of the dwellers in these towns have at one time suffered negative health effects from using contaminated water.

“Waterborne diseases are the ones caused by pathogenic microbes spread via contaminated water. Transmission of these pathogens occurs while using infected water for drinking, food preparation and washing clothes,” he said.

Health Executive Joseph Mbai said the main undoing has been poor investment in technologically driven methods of proper water treatment plants, especially in the rural areas.

“In some places, the availability of water is so scarce that people have neither the time nor the money to afford the water purifiers or other water treatment mechanisms,” he said.

Ichagaki Member of County Assembly Charles Mwangi said the project would improve investments in the beneficiary towns.

“We have classic lodgings that, owing to lack of water, operate on less than half competitiveness value…where a self-contained room that would have charged Sh800 per night if it had showers is going at between Sh250 and Sh500 since the clients are given water with basins. We have hotels that have closed shop owing to the water crisis and rental rates remaining sluggish,” Mr Mwangi said.

Murang’a Level Five Hospital Superintendent Dr Leonald Gikera called for proper management of sewage to reduce contamination of water sources.

He warned that failure to do so would cause huge damage to the community, especially in small towns where people do not have water purifiers installed in their homes.

He said all efforts to protect natural water sources and lands should be made a priority.