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Water minister Chelugui issues drought warning

Monday January 21 2019

drought

Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui gives his remarks during the Integrated Groundwater Resources Management workshop at the Kenya Water Institute on January 15, 2019. He has issued a drought alert. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has warned Kenyans to brace themselves for a biting drought until April.

Mr Chelugui said the government has set aside Sh10 billion to expand water, sanitation and sewerage coverage in in 28 major towns. It is working with Africa Development Bank.

“Considering that drought and floods are natural phenomena, we are already putting in place measures in liaison with other government agencies and stakeholders to mitigate its effects,” he said.

Some 2.1 million people will get water while another 1.3 million will receive sewerage services.

Mr Chelugui was speaking during a water and sanitation county executive committee caucus in Nyahururu, Laikipia County, between January 16 and 18.

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He said the national water coverage is 60 percent while basic sanitation stands at 35 percent.

To achieve universal water coverage by 2030, the sector needs to connect 200,000 Kenyans to potable water and 350,000 to sewerage systems yearly.

He said the government has embarked on implementation of projects such as Itare dam in Nakuru, which will provide 100,000 cubic metres of water while Mombasa residents would receive 186,000 cubic metres per day once Mwache dam is completed.

Mr Chelugui said Makueni, Konza city and Nairobi residents will benefit from additional water supplies once the construction of Thwake dam and Northern Collector Tunnel are completed.

He appealed to the county executives to partner with the national government to ensure the Last Mile Water Connectivity programme succeeds to enable more Kenyans access clean and safe water.