The Ministry of Water and the Kitui county government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that could see the semi-arid region benefit from seven water projects.
Water Principal Secretary (PS) Kiprono Ronoh and Kitui governor Julius Malombe signed the MoU that would ensure completion of critical water projects that will alleviate biting water shortage in the county.
Speaking yesterday while on a tour of various water projects in Kitui County, the PS said that his ministry will partner with the county government for water provision for both domestic use and food production.
Ronoh said that so far, his ministry has identified water projects to be implemented in Kitui County to address the water insecurity.
In particular, the PS noted that Masinga - Kitui water pipeline will be upgraded to boost its water provision capacity. Masinga Dam is the main water source for Kitui town and its environs.
"My ministry will work closely with the county government on its water master plan of constructing 100 mega dams across the county," said Ronoh.
Other priority water projects that will be undertaken as per the signed MoU include completion of Mwingi - Kiambere water project, as well as completion of the stalled Umaa and Kitimui dams. Kindaruma-Kiomo-Mwingi-Migwani water pipeline will also be established to address water shortage in Mwingi town and its environs, the PS revealed.
"It is my ministry's commitment to ensure that all Kenyans have ready access to clean water, and more emphasis will be accorded to arid counties such as Kitui," the PS said.
PS Ronoh stated that his ministry will adopt the use of solar power to cut down on the costs of electricity which currently stands at Sh10 million per month, most of it being power costs for Kitui Water and Sewarage Company (Kitwasco) which manages Masinga - Kitui Water pipeline.
The signed MoU between the PS and the governor also touches on Non-Revenue Water loss where strategies will be put in place to curb water wastage and improve water provision efficiency.
Non Water Revenue is described as water lost due to pipeline leaks, theft through siphoning and supplies to connections that lack metering.
The efforts towards curbing non-revenue water loss include critical water protection infrastructure to stop vandalism of water pipelines and other infrastructure.
Governor Malombe said the move to reduce water loss will increase the commodity available for use in rural homes, institutions and for irrigation farming.
According to the Ministry of Water, Kitui loses 52 percent of water that could otherwise be used for industrial, domestic and agricultural activities.