By Nancy Juma
A delegation from the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Investments Bank (IEB) are in the County to fast-track implementation of various water extension services.
Led by AFD Country Director Bertrand Willocquet and the IEB Regional Head Paolo Lombardo, the Mission had successful engagements with the County Leadership at a meeting chaired by the Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Ochieng’ Owili on behalf of Kisumu Governor. Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.
The Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency (LVSWWDA) is implementing the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Program (LVWATSAN) in Kisumu to rehabilitate, extend and expand water and sanitation facilities to meet the county’s growing population demand.
Speaking during the meeting, Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Ochieng’ Owili reiterated that the on-going works seeks to address rising population challenges within Kisumu City and other satellite towns such as Maseno. He also reaffirmed the county’s commitment in ensuring quick acquisition of land for the projects as well as provision of a conducive environment for smooth implementation.
AFD County Director Bertrand Willocquet was pleased with the achieved progress. He however expressed the need to refocus energy in dealing with issues on the critical path of implementation such as land acquisition for some of the projects.
Some of the planned activities under the program include: Construction of 107km of water supply distribution system within the central, eastern and western parts of the City, extending to satellite towns of Maseno and Kiboswa; Rehabilitation and Upgrading of Dunga Intake/Water Treatment Plant; Construction of 70km of sewerage network within the city; Preparation of Water Resources and Wastewater Management Master Plan for Kisumu City and Kisumu County, Development of a sewer connection strategy as well as the development of new Sewerage Treatment Works and Collection System within the Western corridor and Capacity Building for LVSWWDA, County Government of Kisumu and KIWASCO among others.
To realize the desired impact, IEB Regional Head Paolo Lombardo expressed that it would be critical for the County Government trough the Legislative arm to develop certain legislations that will ensure full uptake by residents.
The program jointly financed by AFD, IEB and the Government of Kenya is a step in the right direction and in line with the county’s development agenda that seeks to ensure that residents have access to clean, safe and portable water. Studies of urbanization trends indicate that 60 per cent of the world’s population will be living in urban areas and there is urgent need to respond to the growing population demand by elevating the status of the City and the satellite towns. Kisumu already gazetted five towns, Maseno, Ahero, Katito, Muhoroni and Kombewa, all these will require adequate planning including water extension services.
Joining the discussions were Water CEC Salmon Orimba, KIWASCO Managing Director Thomas Odongo, Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency CEO Chrispine Omondi among other officials from AFD, IEB, LVSWWDA and the County Government.