The Ministry of Water, Environment and Natural Resources yesterday held a meeting with delegates from the office of the Senator of Illinois, United States America (USA) ahead of inspection of the status of their sponsored projects in the region. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Governor Philip Kutima at Kakamega County headquarters.

Prof. Kutima welcomed the team and thanked them for their support for water and sanitation projects, as they were critical in meeting the needs of the residents of Kakamega County.

“Water supply posed a major challenge in this county when we came to power in 2013 hence the reason we came up with these major projects worth Sh600 million; some are already operational, while others are still ongoing,” he said adding that the target is to ensure that every household has access to clean water by 2022. USAID through KIWASH has given Kakamega County key support in the projects.

Mr Chris Horman, a member of the delegation said the US Congress designates money for water and sanitation projects to a tune of US$1.5 billion every year. “We move around to see the progress of these projects and challenges on the ground, in order to facilitate funding,” he added.

The projects are established by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project (KIWASH) programme, in partnership with the Kakamega County Government. KIWASH works closely with Kakamega County Urban Water and Sanitation Corporation (KACUWASCO) to sustainably improve access to drinking water and sanitation services through training in good governance, business and financial planning, managing operational efficiencies, monitoring progress and water supply infrastructure support.

The CECM for Water, Environment and Natural Resources Mr. Baraza Wangwe said water loss through illegal connections, leakages and malfunctioning metres were a major challenge adding that the main aim is to make water cheaper to residents. Five water infrastructure works worth US$862,216 serving 77,480 persons have been completed in Butere, Kakamega, Khwisero, Soy and Matunda.

In attendance were Chief Officer Water, Enviroment and Natural Resources, Mr. Joseck Maloba, Chairman Water and Environment Committee at the county assembly Swaka Limera and the CEO KACUWASCO, Mr. Fred Atwa among others.