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Joy as villagers get piped water after years of waiting

Governor Wilber Ottichilo (left) in Mungoma Ward. [Brian Kisanji,  Standard]

Bethnal Adundo, 83, never imagined water flowing from a tap just next to her house.

Like other villagers, Ms Adundo has for years been trekking for more than three kilometres looking for clean water.

“We used to fetch water from a spring and there was no guarantee you would get it because people could form long queues waiting for their turn,” she said.

“Sometimes, the water would change the colour during heavy rains and we were forced to boil it before drinking.”

Ms Adundo’s home is among 150 households at Mungoma, Mwiboma and West Bunyore that were connected to piped water on Monday.

“This is a miracle. All my life, I have been fetching water from rivers. It never occurred to me that one day, the water would be brought closer home,” she said.

The Sh23 million project by the county government began in November last year.

Bethany Adundo at her home in Mungoma Ward. [Brian Kisanji, Standard]

Governor Wilber Ottichilo has indicated that the project will be expanded to cover more households in subsequent phases.

The Environment and Climate Change Chief Officer Richard Boiyo said they are looking for partners who will inject more funds.

"Our target is covering all the 25 wards so that our people can access clean and safe water all the time," said Dr Boiyo.

Samuel Amugune from Mungoma Ward is among the first small-scale farmers to tap the water for irrigation.

"I started growing indigenous vegetables immediately after the water was made available. Local schools and health facilities will offer me a ready market."

The water is being pumped from a 105,000-litre tank at Buhui in Bungoma.

Mwiboma and Ipali water projects will serve residents of Mwiboma and West Bunyore respectively. 

The water is tapped from North Maragoli Hills, one of the key water catchment areas in the region. Schools and health centres will also benefit.