Water is life. It doesn’t just keep us alive; it gives us everything that makes life worth living.
The one thing that makes our lives worth and meaningful is money. This means that insufficient water leads to job scarcity thus lack of income.
Most human activities ranging from domestic chores; businesses like hotels, car wash, salon operations etc are highly pegged on water availability.
World Water day focuses on the importance of fresh water and advocates for the sustainable management of fresh water resources. Also focuses on international water issues such as working to alleviate poverty and hunger for sustainable development.
As we celebrate this day, most residents in Kakamega town of Kakamega County cry foul of not having easy access to enough water, a situation that has made their pockets suffer. This they say, their livelihood solely depend on availability of enough clean water.
The Director Unison Beauty Parlor located at the heart of Kakamega town Eunice Lutimba says, water is a very vital commodity for she can’t operate her salon business minus water. “The nature of my business is a salon and barber shop and it’s so challenging when water is not available at my business premise for we have to carry water all the way from the ground floor.” She says adding that they encounter water shortages most of the time even in her residential house a situation that forces them to purchase water. The salon she says uses approximately more than 500litres of water per day.
A resident who runs a small hotel business says, he uses 140 litres of water in a day and in the case of non-availability of this commodity, he is forced to purchase from vendors who sell 20litres at Kshs10, a situation that really hurts his business financially. When there is water shortage, I have no other option but to purchase where 20 litres goes at Kshs10. I urge the County government to improve on water services for the business generates more income depending on availability of clean water.”
Julias Mwangi, the manager Kakamega guest house says, his business suffers great loss when there is water scarcity for every activity ranging from cleaning, laundry and preparing meals highly depends on water. “In the case of inadequate water I incur losses for customers won’t come to my guest house. This therefore, iam forced to do away with some staff which leads to job loss.” He adds applauding the County Government for providing enough water saying that presently water shortage is limited in town.
Julias urges the community to conserve, maintain and act against anything working against the environment to so that there would be enough water to sustain the community and the whole world.
Mr Tom, a water vendor in town says, it’s always hard for him when there is water shortage because water points are too far. “Water scarcity hurts my business greatly for in such a case, am forced to fetch water where water points are very far. I urge the county government to improve in its supply of water as before where it was in plenty and earned him good cash.”
Violet, a student at Masinde Muliro University who lives in Kefinco estate says this is the second month without water and so they are forced to buy water at Kshs10 per 20litres and given the fact that she is a student, it’s very expensive. “Kefinco estate has not had water for the past one month and as a student, it’s very expensive to buy water for I have other bills to settle.”
Francis who owns a car wash business notes that Kakamega County has enough water for he uses approximately1500litres per day. Trouble comes in when water is disconnected for one has to dig deeper into his pocket.
The Minister for Water, Environment and Natural resources Kakamega County Robert Sumbi says that the County government is committed to provide its people with water that is safe and in adequate quantities. He cites some of the projects that are to take off in three weeks’ time and are at tendering stage. “We have done a number of projects all over the county but still doing more and have several other projects taking off in three weeks’ time.
Areas to benefit are Mumias East for Sianda water project, Mumias West-Mungasi market, Matungu-Koyonzo, Matungu Bulimbo markets, Musamba and Sianda markets, Butere lower market, Malava-Butali, Ingavira, Shinyalu-Chepkumbe and Ivochio health centre, Lugari, Mulwanda markets.” The projects he says are to be completed at the end of this financial year and the areas not covered will be looked into during the next financial year.
The minister notes that Mumias and Kakamega towns are being served under Kakamega-Busia Water Company adding that the county has formed its own Company and they are in the process of hand over where Busia will eventually separate from Kakamega so that the County Company can just serve its people. “The county has formed its own water company separate from Busia so as to server his people more effectively and the process is at handing over stage.”
Sumbi says; so far the county government has spent close to Kshs150 Million to supply water across the county though the resources are not adequate. “With time more resources will be put in so as to reach rural areas.” He adds.
He urged the community to stop polluting water sources saying that this interferes with water purity leading to water borne diseases. “Water is a very important commodity and has to be preserved and protected. If that doesn’t happen then purity of water will be interfered with something likely to cause water borne diseases.” he says.
Every human should have the idea of taking care of the environment, of nature, of water. So using too much or wasting water should have some kind of feeling or sense of concern. Some sort of responsibility and with that, a sense of discipline.