State to roll out 10,000 water projects to ease shortage

Kenyans living in arid and semi-arid areas could soon get reprieve as the government kicks off a programme to roll out 10,000 water projects to ease acute shortages currently affecting millions.

Principal Secretary to the State Department for Water and Sanitation Kipronoh Ronoh said the programme dubbed Maji Nyumbani, will complement mega infrastructure projects in several parts of the country.

"The current administration has put a lot of focus on water to address long, short and medium term issues of this very important commodity in human lives," he said.

"We have come up with a number of interventions which we believe if implemented, could help the country address the immediate problem of water scarcity."

Ronoh was speaking at a workshop with chief executive officers and heads of departments of water development agencies. 

"These initiatives will run hand in hand with the major dam infrastructure projects that have been announced in the past," he said.

"This ensures that even while we focus on large infrastructure projects, we are not losing sight of the smaller ones."

The programme will involve short term projects that will run between three to six months, with the longest running for one year, and will serve the demands of both domestic and industrial consumers.

Water infrastructure development was a hot topic in the last General Election with President William Ruto at one point hard-pressed to explain how the previous administration bungled the plan to construct several high-capacity dams across the country. 

According to the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, this will be achieved through shifting focus from large dams to household or community water projects with emphasis on harvesting and recycling.

Ronoh said the Maji Nyumbani programme is expected to employ one million Kenyans directly and indirectly and connect up to 10 million households to running water.

"The programme involves identification and implementation of various water initiatives across the country like drilling of boreholes in schools, construction of small and medium term water pans and construction of sand dams," he said.

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