Residents of Bunyore West, Emuhaya subcounty, in Vihiga have a reason to smile after the commissioning of Ipali water project.
Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo said 60 homes had been connected to clean and safe tap water in the first phase of the project.
“Access to clean and safe water is one of my government’s priorities and our aim is to ensure every household in the county is connected with tap water to relieve them of the burden of walking long distances to wells and rivers,” he said.
Environment and Water Resources chief officer Richard Boiyo urged residents to plant indigenous trees to protect water catchment areas.
He, however, urged them to desist from planting eucalyptus on wetlands and river banks, as they have a high water uptake rate that would lead to drying up of the water sources.
Boiyo said the project is powered by solar panels to save on electricity costs.
The residents, just like many in other parts of the country, have for a long time been drawing water from unprotected wells.
In January, Vihiga residents asked Ottichilo’s administration to complete water projects and supply clean water to the communities.
They singled out Maseno, Lunyerere and Kaimosi water projects.
They said it had taken a long time for the Vihiga water cluster projects to be completed. It was started by former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga in 2014.
In 2020, Water CS Sicily Kariuki toured Kaimosi and Lunyerere water projects and assured residents that the head of state would visit the area in April or May 2021 to commission the projects. This did not happen, they said.