Kenya is set to embark on a US $69.4m drinking water project in Garsen and Lamu towns of Tana River and Lamu County respectively.
This comes days after Eugene Wamalwa, the Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL (Arid and Semi-Arid Lands), affirmed the government’s commitment to curbing perennial water shortages in the two counties.
Belgium to help fund the project
Speaking at Hola Town in Tana River County during celebrations to mark the World Water Day CS Wamalwa said that the Kenyan government would work closely with the government of Belgium to ensure the project is well delivered.
A delegation of national and county government officials were sent to Brussels, the capital of Belgium to seal a deal where the Belgium government would give funds for the project to the Kenyan government.
The Kenyan government’s share of this funding is part of a larger programme to allocate $50,000 to each of Kenya’s 13 drought-affected counties.
Seawater desalination project in Lamu
Even though Lamu County is surrounded by water, its high salinity remains a problem. As a result the government initiated a seawater desalination project in the region. The project is being carried out by Agip, the Kenyan subsidiary of the Italian oil company Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI) through a public-private partnership (PPP).
The desalination plant, situated on an island called Siyu in the Indian Ocean, is set to have a daily capacity of 60 cubic meters able to provide drinking water to 10,000 people in Siyu and Pate Islands.
As part of the Lapsset Corridor programme, the central government of Kenya is also working with the Lamu County authorities to establish a desalination plant with a production capacity of 3,000 qubic meters of water a day. Its construction will cost US$ 3.4m from the Lapsset Corridor programme budget.