By Reuben Olita
The County Government of Busia County has made many strides in the Water sector that has pushed water coverage from 43 percent since the onset of devolution in 2013 to 56% currently, Water Executive, Dr Moses Osia revealed yesterday.
In his address during the World Water Day celebrations at St Patrick Kwang’amor Primary School in Amukura East Ward, Dr Osia
highlighted major water projects in the county.
Among them includes the Mundika Hybrid sytem which is pumping water to over 65,000 people in Busia Town and its environs. The system which uses solar system during day time and electricity at night has reduced the cost of electricity by over 40 percent.
Other solar powered projects spread across the county includes Madivira, Khwilare, Butula, Akibui, Elugulu-Bwaliro and Alema Water projects among others.
The CECM revealed Busia has equipped 210 boreholes with solar pumps across the whole county which are abstracting 4200 cubic metres per day. This is providing 42,000 households (210,000 people) with water every day.
He noted that the county government has repaired 640 hand pumps and these boreholes are serving 25,600 households (138,000 people) every day in providing clean drinking water.
“The County also procured a rig which has enabled it drill 27 boreholes, and is yet to drill 19 more boreholes in this financial year,” he said, adding that these
initiatives are geared towards ensuring the county government increases water coverage in the entire county.
He went on, “In Teso South, the County Government of Busia has protected 27 springs, whose average daily production is 913 cubic metres, serving 2,987 households.”
” Furthermore, there are 17 boreholes in Teso South that have submersible pumping systems that are either run using solar energy or KPLC power. The average daily water abstracted from these boreholes is 315 cubic metres and the water is estimated to serve 2,420 households.
Busia County Commissioner, Dr. Ahmed Omar urged County residents to embrace the culture of harnessing rain water to minimise depletion of ground water.
Dr Omar, who was the Chief Guest, said ground water occasioned by runoff from rain need to be conserved.
The theme of this year’s celebrations was “Ground Water; Making The Invisible Visible. ” There is need to sustain ground water to support other sources like rain water, water springs and many others,” he said.
The CC regretted that Busia County used to be a place with plenty of food and trees, but crop failure has become the order of the day owing to effects of climate change.
” We need to check this trend by ensuring we conserve the environment by planting trees in our compounds, government institutions and to observe Kenya Forest Service policy that entails planting of at least 1 percent trees per acre,” he noted.
Chief Officer Water and Sewerage, Hellen Mukanda undescored the need to utilise water prudently and to conserve environment, noting that the department is making efforts to alleviate water scarcity facing residents of Moru Karisa in Chakol North Ward.
Director Irrigation and Land Reclamation, Mr Dismas Odula said Busia County has high potential for irrigation of 35,570 hectares out of 1.3 million Ha of agricultural land with irrigation potential in Kenya.
He disclosed that 200 Ha of land is currently covered by 18 small irrigations in the county, adding that the directorate is mandated to enhance food and nutrition security by opening up poorly drained areas to increase areas of agricultural land.