Davis & Shirtliff banks on new law in counties expansion plans

IN SUMMARY

· Turkana last year discovered a 250 billion cubic meter aquifer.

· The county is mulling a Sh58 million plan for pumping and treatment works for 39 bore holes.

· Davis & Shirtliff is installing pumps for 39 bore holes in Lamu County.

· Vihiga, Mandera and Bungoma counties have also expressed interest in the firm’s services.

Water technology firm Davis & Shirtliff is banking on the recently enacted private-public engagement law to extend its footprint to counties in the arid and semi-arid areas.

Last week, the company held talks with 32 directors of water service firms from counties to work out modalities of installing its solar-powered water treatment and pumping equipment under the public private partnerships (PPP).

“We are exploring the opportunities available in working under the PPP model. We want to see what projects they (counties) have and what can come under the PPP model,” said Mas Waweru, the company’s commercial director.

Several counties which plan to sink bore holes have already expressed interest in the machines. Turkana, which last year discovered a 250-billion cubic meter aquifer, is mulling a Sh58 million plan for pumping and treatment works for 39 bore holes. This is in addition to the installations currently being undertaken.

Already, Davis and Shirtliff is installing equipment that will pump 300 cubic meters of water an hour from four bore holes in a Sh30 million project. The firm is also installing pumps for 39 bore holes in Lamu. Other counties that have expressed interest are Vihiga, Mandera and Bungoma.

Dr Waweru said that the company was evaluating individual county needs and providing tailor-made solution, adding that the firm has the financial capacity to offer the partnerships. “Once we are able to identify a PPP with one or two counties, then we sit down and determine how much we need for that job and then move into it,” he said.

Dr Waweru added that they are only involved in equipment supply and installation but not the civil works like borehole drilling which require huge capital needs. According to a report released last year by the Kenya Public Policy Research Institute, only 48.5 per cent of Kenyans have access to clean water.

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