By MAUREEN ODUOR
Homa Bay County: The Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project II (Lvemp II) has allocated Sh200 million for rehabilitation of the Homa Bay sewerage treatment plant.
Lvemp II National Co-ordinator Francisca Owuor said the focus of the project would be to address blockage which leads to leakage.
She said the plant is over stretched and not able to meet the demands of the town’s growing population. “We concluded conducting feasibility studies on the plant worth Sh13 million in August through a hired consultant,” she said.
Lvemp II Water Specialist John Okungu said despite the plant being meant to take in 250,000 cubic metres of waste per day, only 150,000 cubic metres get through due to leakage.
“The process is meant to rehabilitate and augment it to take in more waste. Currently, only 60 per cent of waste reaches the plant because of the blocked sewer terrain,” said Okungu.
He blamed the breakdown of the system on use of heavy mechanical systems that needed electricity. “In the initial construction, aeration was done in the first pond and it required electricity. This also applied to clarifiers. They had a huge electricity bill that became a challenge to meet,” he said.
He said breakdowns were also not repaired because some of the spare parts were not locally available. Vandalism has also played a significant role in destroying the sewerage plant. “Apart from the panels on the inlet, most of them have been vandalised hence the plant does not work as it previously did,” said Okungu.
He said South Nyanza Water and Sanitation Company would take care of the project upon completion as they plan to expand water supply from 2,000 to 6,000 cubic metres.
“Assuming 80 per cent of the water goes out, the water project and treatment plant have to go hand in hand,” he said.
Okungu said they want the system to work efficiently to ensure the lake is not polluted and hence to reduce the growth of water weed. “I believe by improving water that is discharged into the lake, the reduction of water hyacinth will be possible,” he said.
A similar rehabilitation will be undertaken in Kisumu and Bomet counties, he said.