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November 30, 2020
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Turn-O-Metal firm’s dedication to drill boreholes eases access to clean water

 ‘Kenyans must worship water resources’’ – Birdi Surinder Singh
Across the world, acts of nature worship are common, a practice upheld by age-old traditions, which revere varied forms of the natural phenomena — for instance locally, the worship of Mount Kenya as a sacred place.
Scientifically, water is described as an odourless and tasteless compound that comprises of hydrogen and oxygen matter. Water is crucial for survival of all known forms of life on land, rivers, lakes and oceans. In line with global standards, the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] regulations defines ‘pure’ water as being devoid of all types of bacteria, viruses and foreign impurities.
Recent media reports across Kenya, have raised the red flag over alarming levels of pollution in major rivers in most parts the country. Health experts involved in numerous survey studies concede that the amount of toxic particles traced in water resources, undermines the purity of water meant to use for domestic consumption.
Limited water sources
“Ready access to fresh and clean drinking water, remains a pipe dream far beyond the reach of hundreds of average Kenyans. It is this dilemma, which compels me to advocate for everyone to worship water, and conserve already limited sources,” affirms Mr. Surinder Singh – Managing Director, Turn-O-Metal Engineering firm.
“Water scarcity is an abstract concept for many and a stark reality for thousands of others. It is a result of myriad environmetal, political, economic and social forces. Water is indeed life, but whenever purity levels are compromised, the spin-off effects of unchecked contamination and pollution, trigger debilitating human effects injurious to the health of consumers,” remarks Mr. Surinder, whose firm has drilled countless boreholes across Kenya.
The MD further cites when,in the field prospecting and drilling for under-ground water supply, the engineers stumbled on evidence of untreated sewer effluent barely 60 metres below the ground.
Geo-technical drilling
“I am shocked at the increasing contamination levels, which has seeped into Kenya’s water-table; this is unacceptable and remedial measures are long overdue. There is an urgent need for water sector stakeholders to address ensuing conflicts over solid waste management and safe underground water sources,” asserts Mr. Surinder.  So grave is rising demand for clean and fresh drinking water that in
the quest to mitigate drought effects, an average of 2,419 boreholes, were earmarked for drilling countrywide in the 2017/2018 fiscal year, compared to 1,557 boreholes sunk in the previous year.
This collaborative project, conducted by Ministry of Water, Sanitation & Irrigation and the private sector, aims to improve access to water for households across the country. A Kenya National Bureau of Statistics report, indicates whereas number of boreholes drilled by the government declined, those sunk by the private sector almost doubled. Turn-O- Metal Engineering Company, does offer world-class, one-stop-shop water drilling solutions to industrial, commercial or domestic markets. By making use of latest drilling technology and machinery, the firm undertakes symmetric, bore and geo-technical drilling services. Mr. Surinder concurs with experts on the need to implement strict guidelines with clearly defined and planned approach to regulate drilling boreholes across the country to protect Kenya’s water ecosystem.
Adverse aquifer effects
And even as government agencies engage in concerted efforts to address water shortages, the MD notes that “..unplanned and random drilling of boreholes could in the long run affect the ground water resources. As a key player in the sector, we have raised mumerous concerns on the need for a legislation, which can combat illegal and unplanned drilling of boreholes – which ultimately bears adverse effects on aquifers and the quality of water therein.”
Drilling of boreholes is a science that must follow strict rules and adhere to standard, approved procedures to ensure the environment is not destroyed in the process. For instance, whenever Turn-O-Metal’s team of engineers embark on borehole drilling, the firm undertakes an Environmental Impact Assessment test and a hydro-geological survey aimed at establishing the underground water resources. All this information is then submitted to the relevant authorities inclusive of the Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) – the supervising arm of government.
All this data is then, submitted to For groundwater conservation, WRMA’s mandate aims to develop policies that govern the balancing and sustainable use of water supply in alignment to national development. The authority issues permits required for water extraction in machine drilled boreholes, with the exclusion of hand dug shallow wells. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on the other hand provides official approval upon submission of Environmental Impact Assessment tests data.Engineers
In 2016, Nairobi County had reported that 4,000 illegal boreholes were dug without the required government authorization. An independent survey found that although official statistics indicated 6,000 boreholes existed in the city, only 2,000 have been registered in WRMA’s database system.
According to Mr. Birdi is certain that Kenya has enough water resources for general use, even enough for irrigation. But to ensure consistent flow, long-term planning is required sustainability of these resources – devolved services should drive local governments to improve the quality of life for taxpayers and borehole drilling to provide water ranks high on the list of objectives.
“It is important to involve hydrogeologists as consultants to carry out requisite tests and also guide on borehole design in order to safe guard ground water contamination. In the long term, failure to undertake thorough due diligence results in multiple challenges and setbacks,” concludes the experienced engineer.

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