Launch Of Kajuki Water Treatment Plant
The residents of Kajuki in Tharaka Nithi could not hide their joy during the launch of the Kajuki water treatment plant, a project which guarantees safe and clean water to the current population of 5,000 people and with a capacity to serve over 20,000 people in the future.
Not so long ago, the residents solely depended on raw water from River Nithi for domestic use, untreated water that posed all possible health-related threats to the children, mothers and the entire community.
The colorful event took place on 15th November 2018 and was graced by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, The First Lady of Kenya who commended the implementers for a job well done.
“I applaud the Kenya Red Cross Society and the Nairobi Ram Katha Famine Relief Fund and their partners, to invest resources towards this noble cause. It is a true testament that we can make a difference and achieve great milestones when we come together to serve. This treatment plant will provide better options for clean water and storage. It gives hope to families, that the future of their children is protected from the burden of illnesses originating from waterborne diseases,” commended Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta.
The fruits of the partnership were evident as implementation was done by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) with support from the County government of Tharaka Nithi and funding from the Government of Kenya and Ram Katha Nairobi Famine Relief Fund.
“We are very delighted to serve the people of Kajuki and also thank the Her Excellency the First Lady and her good office through which we got part of the funding from Ram Katha Nairobi Famine Relief Fund to implement this project. Today we can see the difference and impact in the lives of Kajuki residents,” said Dr. Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, KRCS.
The Kajuki water treatment plant has a capacity of 25,000 litres per hour with capability to operate 24 hours, which ensures uninterrupted access to water by the residents as the treatment plant uses solar power and has a generator to allow for overnight operations. The water that is delivered by gravity further lowers operations cost due to the zero use of electricity.
“In December 2017, Governor Muthomi Njuki sought the help of the Kenya Red Cross to fight a cholera outbreak in the county, which we successfully did. With projects such as this water treatment plant, we can tremendously contribute to the reduction of water-borne diseases that affects the family unit,” added Dr. Gullet.
The water treatment plant in Kajuki alongside others that have been set up in Kilifi, Makueni and Kakamega counties have revolutionized the deployment of water treatment plants in response to urban and peri-urban water needs offering cost effective water solutions which are easy to deploy and maintain.
The Cabinet Secretary in charge of Water and Sanitation also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to partner and support such noble projects that contribute to the national development agenda.
“Today, 60% of Kenyans have access to clean and safe water and our objective is to bridge that gap and achieve 100% coverage. To achieve this, national and county governments will seek collaboration with other partners like the Kenya Red Cross Society,” lamented Simon Chekugui, Cabinet Secretary, Water and Sanitation.
On his part, the Governor of Tharaka Nithi thanked all partners for their joint efforts throughout the implementation phase, promising to seek more similar partnerships on behalf of the county.
“We had talks with Kenya Red Cross through Dr. Abbas who deployed their water engineers to support us. It is indeed a journey of a thousand miles which we started with one step,” said H.E. Muthomi Njuki, Governor, Tharaka Nithi County.
Apart from the Kajuki project, KRCS has also completed the Kaanwa water treatment plant inTharaka Nithi. The two projects cost KES 17,447,210 in direct project costs; KES 9,766,327 for Kajuki and KES 7,680,890 for Kaanwa. The funds were sourced from the Government of Kenya (KES 11,447,217) and the Ram Katha Nairobi Famine Relief Fund (KES 6 million).
Access to water is a basic human right enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution. The devolved system of governance further assigns the responsibility of water supply and sanitation to the county governments.
The Vision 2030 also seeks to ensure an increase of both access to safe water and sanitation in both rural and urban areas through improved water resource management, storage and harvesting capability. It is a goal reinforced under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that champions for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, as well as access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene.