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Meru County promise 500 Boreholes every year

Meru Country plans to drill 100 boreholes by the end of the current financial year in June 2019. This is in addition to 97 boreholes the country drilled in its first financial year, according to Governor Kiraitu Murungi. The 97 boreholes are mainly in the drought-prone Meru North sub-counties which are faced with acute water problems.

Mr Murungi said construction of three boreholes started during the first financial year of his administration were ongoing.  The governor had promised to drill 100 boreholes every year.

“Indeed, my promise of sinking 100 boreholes every year remains,” he said. “We’ll deliver the promise of 500 [boreholes] in five years. This year we have spent Sh600 million on water alone.”

Mr Murungi said out of the 97 boreholes drilled in the first financial year, 77 were fully equipped, solar powered and operational. “We are in the process of completing others so that our people can access the vital commodity,” he said.

In December 2018, Mr Murungi inaugurated water committees drawn from all the county’s sub-counties whose responsibility would be to maintain and manage the boreholes for longer life. Water consumers will pay an annual membership fee of Sh300 for maintenance and operational costs of the projects.

“The water committees must use the membership fees prudently for the intended purposes,” the governor told the water committees’ members in Meru town.

Mr Titus Ntuchiu, Meru deputy governor, who doubles as the finance executive member, said provision of sufficient water to Meru people is one of the strongest enablers for the attainment of the governors pledge to “make Meru great.” He said the governor had instructed him to ensure enough funds were allocated to the project in subsequent years.

Community water projects

The country government in collaboration with the national government has launched initiatives to construct dams and water pans in arid and semi-arid zones to provide sufficient and clean drinking water for households, induce proper harvesting of rain water for irrigation and reduce need for relief food.

Construction of water pans is ongoing with several already done in Buuri sub-county. The next phase of water pans construction is scheduled for the drier parts of Nyambene region.

Mr Murungi has worked with the national government to facilitate construction of a total of 600 water pans, estimated to hold about 600,000 m3 (600 million litres), each with a targeted capacity of 1000 m3 (1 million litres). 

The governor had promised to co-operate with the national government to ensure construction of dams such as Urra 4 Dam, Kithino, Marimba, Kathita, Thangatha and Kianjuri.Construction of the three mega dams in Meru has already started.

Kithino dam in Imenti South sub-county will be the biggest (about half of Ndakaini dam) with a capacity of over 7,000,000 m3 of water.

Kianjuri dam in Buuri, Thangatha dam in Tigania East and Urra 4 in Igembe Central are expected to be completed in six months. Engineers have already identified eight water dams using Digital Terrain Model technology and construction of three of them has begun.

Sewerage systems and water supply

The county government is working with the national government to ensure proper water and sewer systems in all major towns in the county.

Construction of Maua town water and sewerage system is complete. The water supply was put up at an approximate cost of Sh605 million serving over 16,000 people in Maua and its environs. The sewer system, serving over 4,000 people, was constructed at a cost of over Sh225 million.

Meru water schemes were recently rated second best in Kenya by Water Services Regulatory Board in its Impact Report 2018. They were dubbed a top performing utility in the country .

Meru water supply serves about 80,000 people. The county government is implementing Meru Water and Sanitation County Act, which led to abolition of Imetha and Meru water companies, replacing them with Meru Urban Water and Sanitation Services Corporation.

Find more details from our 2019 water Yearbook

About Kaburu Mugambi

Kaburu Mugambi is a veteran of business reporting having worked with two national newspapers in Kenya. He is a graduate of economics from Kenyatta University. He started his journalism career in 2000 with The People Daily as a business reporter before becoming a business sub-editor. He joined Daily Nation in 2004 as a business writer. He holds a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from University of Nairobi's School of Journalism and an MBA in marketing from the same university. In 2016, he founded Water Tower, a media firm focused on water, energy and climate. Its content cuts across water, energy and climate with emphasis on adaptation and sustainability.

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