State releases Sh300 million for Busia water project

Busia Governor Paul Otuoma. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Busia county has received Sh300 million from the national government for completion of the multi-million Malaba-Malakisi water project.

The project funded through Lake Victoria Water Works Development Agency is expected to benefit at least 180,000 households.

Speaking during a meeting at Busia county headquarters with Lake Victoria North Water Works Development Agency CEO Joel Wamalwa and local Members of Parliament, Governor Paul Otuoma said completion of the project will guarantee residents clean and safe drinking water.

"It is a step in the right direction but I condemn cases of vandalism of the Malaba-Malakisi main water pipeline and ask the security agencies to investigate the matter and ensure those responsible are brought to book," said Dr Otuoma.

"I am too happy to note that during my meeting with Lake Victoria North Water Works Development Agency CEO, he confirmed that the water police unit had seized the matter to apprehend the culprits," he added.

Mr Wamalwa announced that they have initiated compensation for the affected communities along the Malaba-Malakisi main water pipeline project.

“It is true the process has taken long but we have fast-tracked the same and the communities around Chesikaki, Sirisia, all the way to Malaba will be compensated and connected to the line. In the meantime, the Water Police Unit has picked up the vandalism matter for further action,” he said.

"The issue of governance has been streamlined at Busia Water and Sewerage Company with a new board and CEO. This will enable the company to collaborate with development partners in order to provide clean water to the people of Busia," said the CEO.

Wamalwa said the water police unit has already commenced investigations into the vandalism of the multi-million water project.

Butula MP Joseph Oyula, Raphael Wanjala (Budalang'i), Geoffrey Mulanya (Nambale) and Oku Kaunya (Teso North) called for action against vandals targeting the Malakisi-Malaba water project.

They were submitting their reports for water projects in their respective constituencies.

Last week leaders and residents from the western Kenya region led by Governor Otuoma condemned vandalism of public utility projects in various parts of the border county, including the Malaba water project that was commissioned in January by President William Ruto.

Otuoma urged investigative and security agencies to bring the culprits to book.

Vandalism of the main distribution line of Malaba water project was reported at the border of Teso North and Sirisia constituencies.

A similar incident was reported on January 25, 2024, where more than 10 goons broke into Nasewa-based County Aggregation and Industrial Park (CAIP) in Matayos sub county and made way with building materials and assorted equipment.

“Vandalism of this shared resource constitutes a major setback in our efforts to ensure that residents have uninterrupted safe, clean and sustainable water supply. Anyone who feels aggrieved should raise concerns through appropriate channels for action,” said Otuoma.