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Villagers happy as spring reopened

RIFT VALLEY
By Jeckonia Otieno | July 28th 2020
A section of Oldanyati-Leshuta River bed in kajiado County. [Jeckonia Otieno]

Daniel Sironka takes his livestock to the Oldanyati-Leshuta River Valley in Kajiado County everyday.

At about 12pm when we caught up with him last week, he was with his son who held the cattle back as Sironka went to the watering point.

The process involves opening a hole to allow water that had trickled in from a natural spring to flow into a water trough by the river side.

Though there are patches of clear water in the rocky river valley, locals say it is not safe as it has leeches.

“The water along the river valley seems clear but it is not safe for our cattle because it has leeches which, when swallowed by our animals, cause ill-health and eventual death,” Sironka said.

Private developer

He is however glad that his livestock can access the spring water which just a few months ago was not available  because a private developer on the ridge overlooking the village had been extracting all water from the spring.

Locals say that the spring is one of many that feed the river which flows to Lake Natron in Tanzania.

An outcry by the locals led the Water Resources Authority to remove the blockage so that water could flow downstream from the spring.

This came with a bit of relief to the locals but they say this is not enough as the investor could decide once again to block the spring.

“We are asking the government to put in place a law that will ensure a sharing formula for the water from the spring,” Ngiroiya said.

Simon ole Meshena, the chairman of Oldanyati Community Development Group, said that the water in the river has been decreasing after the spring was blocked on the ridge.

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