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Commissioning Of Nzoia Cluster Phase II Water Project a Major Boost To Services Provision in Kakamega and Busia Counties

The completion of the Nzoia Cluster Phase II Water Programme covering the larger Kakamega and Busia counties has brought a big relief to people living in the two counties.

The two-year project, which commenced on August 8th 2008, was funded by the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and the German Government through the KfW Entwicklungsbank. It was completed last year and officially commissioned by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, on 1st October 2010 in Kakamega.

Nzoia Cluster Phase II was a continuation of Phase I of the same programme and targeted improvement and rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities in Kitale, Webuye and Bungoma, and has benefited an additional 300,000 people

Phase I was completed in early 2010 and increased service provision to over 200,000 new consumers in the benefiting towns, who hitherto had no access to clean and safe water.

The new supply for Kakamega, under the Nzoia Cluster Phase II programme, comprised a gravity system from an intake on the Yala River, located at the edge of the Nandi South forest; new treatment works some 11km downstream at Tindinyo/Chepsonoi along the Chavakali – Kapsabet road; and treated water transmission pipelines over some 28 km passing through the famous Kakamega rain forest to Kakamega town.

The system was designed for a capacity of 16,000 m3 per day to cater for water demands of up to the year 2025 for Kakamega and areas along the transmission main route, including Tindinyo/Chepsonoi, Shinyalu, Khayega and Muranda, as well as some urban centres around Kakamega town.

The new Kakamega Water Supply also incorporated a universal metering policy to minimise water losses. In order to expand service coverage for the scheme, several water kiosks have been established along the pipeline to supply low-income areas.

In Busia, the project extended to the nearby urban centers including Matayos, Bumala and Nambale with a population estimated at 76,000 inhabitants, but expected to grow to an estimated 114,000 by 2025, the project design horizon. The old water supply facilities had a production capacity of a paltry 3,800 m3 per day.

The new supply rehabilitated and expanded the previous system from the same old intake on the Sio River, but with more efficient pump sets, expanded treatment works and larger-diameter pipelines. The new system was designed for a capacity of 8,400 m3 per day to cater for the inhabitants’ 2025 design demands. The scheme also incorporated a universal metering policy to minimize losses, as well as water kiosks appropriate for supply within low-income areas, just like in Kakamega.

Sanitation components for these projects included improvements to the existing dilapidated sewerage system and expansion into new developing areas. Construction of toilets and septic tanks at certain identified institutions was included in the project to enhance sanitation within low-income areas.

The completion and commissioning of this Programme marked another major milestone in the history of the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board towards the accomplishment of its core mandate –the provision of water and sanitation services.

Within the six years of its existence, the Board has been able to implement a number of major infrastructural investments in virtually all the main urban centres in its area of jurisdiction, including Kitale, Bungoma, Webuye, Eldoret, Kapsabet and now Busia, Nambale and Kakamega.

Also lined up for expansion and rehabilitation are a number of water supplies in several cluster towns within the Board area.

The advantage of most of these projects is that they incorporate latest technologies. Most are gravity schemes, which upon completion will be cost effective to run in terms of operations and maintenance

Construction of new water supply in mumias commences

Hot on the heels of the Nzoia Cluster Phase I and II Water and Sanitation programmes is Nzoa Cluster Phase III, where a number of projects have already been rolled out by the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board, with financial support from the World Bank and the Government of Kenya, through the Water and Sanitation Services Improvement Programme, (WaSSIP).

This is a programme that aims to expand the level of coverage of water and sanitation services within the project areas through rehabilitation of the identified schemes and construction of new water and sanitation services infrastructure.

Thanks to the programme, the perennial water problems in Mumias Municipality and adjoining rural surroundings is set to be a thing of the past as the Board embarks on a major infrastructural facelift targeted at completely overhauling the existing water supply, at a cost of over Kshs. 1.4 billion.

Under the project, there will be an expansion of water supply and sanitation services in Mumias Municipality and surrounding peri-urban areas through the development of a new gravity scheme, designed to meet demands of up to the year 2025.

Presently, the municipality is served by a combination of surface water and groundwater systems that have been inadequate in meeting the town’s demand for the commodity. The main surface water source is the River Lusumu, which flows along the southern boundary of the Municipality.  

The present distribution comprises of a 1.7km (50mm diameter), a 5.4km (50-100mm in diameter) and a 4.6km (100-200mm diameter) pipeline network. Under the new treated water gravity scheme, this will be expanded to a 13.030km and 14.750km long ferrous pipe 600mm and 500mm in diameter respectively, and increase the production of potable water from the present 1,618m3/d to 15,000m3/d.

The project will also have a new reinforced concrete tank constructed at Ekero near Mumias Town, with a capacity of 5,000m3 to boost water storage and supply in the center.

The new system will have a raw water intake, upstream from the present one on River Lusumu - some 28 kilometers from Mumias town. The existing system with a capacity of 1,215m3 per day will also be rehabilitated and used to serve the adjoining lower rural areas by gravity.

The project which is expected to be completed by April 2013 will increase production of portable water from the current 1,618 to 15,000m3 per day, against the projected demand of 14,769m3, and expand service to some 154,235 people. This means that upon its completion, there will be more water than the town’s demand.

Construction works for the new supply has been preceded by minor rehabilitation of the existing water treatment works and distribution network to ensure optimum operations till the new Project comes on line.

In addition to Mumias Water Supply, which is the biggest project under the WaSSIP programme, several other projects have begun rolling out systematically in various locations within the Board’s jurisdiction.

Some of these include rehabilitation and expansion works on the Kaimosi, Jeptulu and Serem Water Supplies. Others are Kimilili, Butere, Malakisi, Navakholo, Musanda, Sirisia,and Kwanza water supplies, all of which fall within the former Western Province.

A number of Water and Sanitation projects have also been rolled out in the former Rift Valley Province including Lessos, Kapsowar, Cheptais, Chesikaki, Lumakanda and Kipkaren; alongside expansion of the Chebara Treatment Works and reticulation system for Eldoret town. These projects are at different implementation stages.

Operational Challenges

The successful implementation of these Programmes attests to Lake Victoria North Water Services Board’s ability to achieve its core mandate of ensuring provision of Water and Sanitation Services within its area of jurisdiction. This nonetheless has not been without challenges.

“With the expansion and development of the new water supplies, the emerging challenge confronting us as a Board is in the management of the schemes,” says the LVNWSB CEO Eng. Diru Magomere. He however clarifies that as part of its mandate, the Board has signed Service Provision Agreements with Water Service Providers which have fully complied with the Corporate Governance guidelines set by the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), in accordance with the Water Act 2002, and would keep monitoring them to ensure that the provisions of the Agreements are strictly adhered to in order for people to realize the benefits of the projects.

“It is my pleasure to see more and more people within our coverage area getting access to regular, safe and affordable water, confirming our success in expansion of services coverage in our area of jurisdiction,” he says. Eng. Magomere explains that in areas where the Board might experience any challenges with the provider, modalities would be put in place to ensure supply was not interrupted. “In the larger Kakamega and Busia Counties for example, we have had to temporarily take over direct water services provision as we source for a suitable Water Service Provider which would be up to the task and willing to operate within the set regulatory framework.”





Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2