Sewer connection for Marsabit, Kabarnet

Kisumu sewer treatment plant. file photo | nmg
Kisumu sewer treatment plant. file photo | nmg 

Ol Kalou and Kabarnet towns will be connected to the sewerage network as part of plans to increase those connected to sewers in urban and peri-urban areas to above five per cent of the population.

Marsabit will have 18 sewer lines of 16.9km and 10 waster stabilisation ponds in an area of 19.84 hectares.

A concrete trunk sewer network of 19.1km will be built in Kabarnet town in Baringo, while Ol Kalou will have a length of 14.29 km network with six ponds of 41.7 million litres.

Sewer connection comes as official data show that about three million out of 20 million people residing in areas covered by water service providers (WSPs) are connected to sewers. The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has through the latest Kenya Gazette sought public views on the proposed projects.

“The Authority invites members of the public to submit oral or written comments within thirty days from the date of publication of this notice to the Director-General, NEMA, to assist the Authority in the decision making process of this project,” read a notice published on Friday.

The 15 per cent coverage, which is down from 19 per cent in 2010, is below the national target of 40 per cent. The project is however hampered by lack of clear source of financing.

The Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb) is mulling over plans to introduce a sewerage levy equivalent to five per cent of water bills

Currently, water bills contain a sewer charge, but the fee has often been misapropriated by water firms.  The failure to develop sewerage means property developers are spending more to build septic tanks to hold the waste while some may be discharging it to waterways like rivers.

Discharge of untreated waste into waterways has health implications as it exposes those who use the water to various water-borne diseases like cholera.

A report released by Japanese sanitation firm LIXIL Group Corporation in August showed that every Kenyan spends an average Sh1,200 every year on ailments related to poor sanitation. This translates to a total of Sh57.4 billion.