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Major African supplier of water and energy equipment Davis & Shirtliff, has partnered with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide water to Baringo County residents who have been facing acute water shortages. Drought and famine remain a challenge in most parts of Baringo where locals are frequently forced to rely on relief food from the government and other well-wishers as they fight to survive.
According to 2008 data from the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), only 52 per cent of Kenyans in rural areas had access to improved drinking water sources, and 12 per cent access to piped water through a house or yard connection.
“Our plan as Davis and Shirtliff is to bridge the gap to bring water to the end user by making water easily accessible to more rural households in arid and semi-arid areas in Kenya, in line with the country’s economic blue print, Vision 2030,”said Loise Mutua sales engineer, Nakuru.
Of the 70 boreholes targeted under the project, 51 are already complete and operational, meaning that residents who formerly had to walk up to 15km for water can now easily access clean and safe water at the boreholes within the villages.
“The boreholes have been fitted with stainless steel safety cables in all the pumping units and also with Klorman disinfection units that inject chlorine into the water as it is being used,” said Loise Mutua. “This means that the water supplied is safe and reliable before it gets to the consumer, negating the need for extra treatment at home.” The water is then pumped to tanks where the residents get it from taps. This has reduced the number of water borne illness and deaths in the communities.
Baringo County has many seasonal rivers where residents source water during the rainy season, but these often dry up during the dry season leaving residents to walk long distances in search of water. This has frequently seen school children miss classes – as they help parents in driving livestock to the river, or collect water for use at home or in school – taking a toll on the children’s academic performance and development.
The increased time spent collecting water has also reduced the time for other activities such as cooking, farming and reading. Fighting over water at the source is also reportedly common in these communities.
The project which commenced on January 2014 is being funded by an extended grant from JICA after an agreement with the Republic of Kenya signed on 10th July, 2013 to provide water for domestic consumption to residents of Baringo County. The project will be completed by the end of March 2016.
“We are proud to be part of this project, which has not only solved the water problem in Baringo, but will also improve health. Moreover, residents will not incur any extra costs after the installation, with no running or maintenance costs,” said Miss. Loise Mutua.
Davis and Shirtliff Limited is a Pan-African multinational, operating through a network of Kenyan branches and regional subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, and DRC. Founded in Kenya in 1946, it is the leading supplier of water related and alternative energy equipment in 1946, it is the leading supplier of water related and alternative energy equipment in East Africa.