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Regional leaders laud private water Bill

Water Resource Authority says the Bill should be adopted by other counties

 By Jonathan Teikan

Residential, public, private and commercial buildings in Kajiado County will in future be approved, if and only, the structures have enough water harvesting and storage facilities.

This is according to a private member Bill, dubbed Kajiado County Rain Water Harvesting Bill, 2019 sponsored by nominated Member of County Assembly Onesmus Ngogoyo.

The Bill seeks to curb the grave water shortage in the county, by introducing measures that will see rain water harvested and preserved for domestic and commercial use in Kajiado County.

“My research shows that countries that embraced similar techniques can abate water scarcity for three to five months cheaply and affordable,” said Ngogoyo.

The Bill was welcomed by John Kinyanjui, regional manager Water Resource Authority, Eastern Region, who said the idea is timely as it will help reduce rain water wasted as a result of surface runoff.

The Eastern region comprises; Kajiado, Makueni, Kitui and Machakos counties.

Speaking during a stakeholders meeting on August 23, held at Enchula Resort, Kinyanjui said, “It is encouraging that ward representatives can think innovatively on water matters.”

He added: “I call on other county governments to adopt the bill.”

The regional manager, further said that best water harvesting methods improve the availability of ground water which has been depleted over the years due to lack of control in sinking the boreholes.

The Assembly that has never passed a private member bill is presently engaging the public in public participation, aimed at augmenting other sources of water.

Residents equally welcomed the Bill, but urge that the seven-member ad hoc committee tasked to to formulate the Bill, should seek further information through a public participation and stakeholder engagement to fine tune the bill in the next few months.

Human rights activist Benjamin Tipatet said: “This is a good work from the County Assembly, we hope that the county will use this Bill to collect rock water and use water pans and dams to control the incessant effect of floods across the county.”

Kajiado County is categorised under semi arid areas and locals mostly pastoralists face acute shortage of water affecting livestock production annually.

In remote rural areas many children drop out of schools due to water scarcity that impel them to look for water. This has also affected many women who cannot engage in good economic activities as they have to walk for long distances in search of water.

These are negative impacts of water shortage that the Bill seeks to address.

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