Residents of Gatuanyaga and Landless areas in Thika Constituency who have been grappling with water rationing over the recent years are set to benefit from a borehole water project that was drilled by the Kenya Defence Forces last week.
The borehole that was handed over to the local water producer, Thika Water and Sewerage Company (Thiwasco) for treatment and piping on Tuesday, is a big relief to hundreds of residents who had been forced to buy water at exorbitant costs from vendors.
The 130-metres deep borehole has the capacity to produce 12 cubic metres of water daily, which would be added to the company’s current water generation capacity of 39 cubic metres.
Once complete, it would enable the water company to meet the 46 cubic metres town’s water demand as they wait for the completion of the Sh764 million World Bank’s Karimenu water project.
The project is expected to generate 15,000 cubic metres of water and will be enough to distribute to far-flung regions of the constituency that have been facing acute water shortage.
Thiwasco Managing Director Joshua Kinya said the borehole would serves as a temporary measure to increase water capacity as they await the completion of the Karimenu project in three years’ time.
“Treatment and piping works will start immediately so that more water can be supplied to residents. We hope to reduce water rationing once we consolidate the borehole water with what we are currently producing,” he said.
Brigadier Geoffrey Radina of the 12th Battalion which was in charge of the drilling said the borehole has one of the best water discharge capacity and if secured well, would reduce the suffering of residents who face water shortage.
He said Sh700, 000 was used in the project and hoped treatment and piping would be done on time to help the public. He added that KDF has drilled several such projects, especially in schools.
Thika MP Patrick Wainaina who brought KDF on board said they hope to partner more on drilling of boreholes and grading of roads with the forces, saying it is less costly.
“Drilling a borehole costs at least Sh2.5million and therefore the KDF rates of Sh700, 000 can enable one drill more than four boreholes,” said Wainaina.
Residents welcomed the project, saying they would partake in economic activities such as poultry farming that they had abandoned because of water shortage.
“I will be able to re-establish poultry farming in my compound once we get constant supply of water,” said Stella Njeri, a resident of Landless Estate.
Kungu Wa Regina, another resident called on the water company and the police to act on water cartels who had tapped water within specific regions, thereby inhibiting flow to surrounding estates.