MARACHA. It was all euphoria among communities of Maracha district as authorities commissioned multimillion borehole projects over the weekend.
The district with conditional grants from the central government under poverty alleviation fund and District Discretionary Equalization Grant (DDEG) in the current financial year drilled and constructed 8 new boreholes.
Mr George Atibuni Lagu, the district internal security officer (DISO) who presided over the ceremonies in absence of the resident district commissioner noted that the projects are in fulfilment of a presidential pledge in 2016 general election in which the president promised to drill a borehole in all the villages.
According to the assistant chief administrative officer for the district Mr Modest Wadia, over153 million shillings was used to drill the boreholes which are evenly spread in all the sub-counties except Maracha town council.
About shs17.2 million was used for site location while shs136 million was used for actual drilling and construction.
“Let us continue to demand from government, let us utilise the facilities while bearing in mind that we should save them for the next generation. Therefore we expect the communities to set water user committee and charge a fair user fee for minor repairs and forward the major repairs to be done in the district”, Wadia advised.
Maracha district chairman Mr Adiga Lawrence commended the technocrats for exhibiting transparency in the implementation of the projects that made them to equitably share the money allocated by the central government to drill 8 boreholes instead of seven.
“I want to thank the officials from water department in the district for transparency, if they were corrupt they would sit over the accumulated balances and account them well but they have demonstrated that they are working for the people”, Adiga remarked.
Ms Suzan Oyuru, assistant water officer for the district called on the locals to mobilize their communities to fulfil all the conditions set by the government to benefit from the projects.
"It was challenging to implement the projects in two communities of Gbinika and Palinda villages that failed to pay co-funding. Two other communities of Yabia and Awupi together with the first two communities resisted giving land and construction of wall fence around their boreholes”, Oyuru regretted.
In Loyinya, a 79-year-old Mr Wilson Anderia offered land saying people in the area used to travel a long distance to a nearby valley to fetch unclean water.
Kijomoro sub-county chairman Mr William J Matua challenged the beneficiaries to fence the water source to limit animals from drinking water there and protecting it from unscrupulous people.
The district secretary for social services Ms Judith Bako attributed the high water coverage in Maracha to massive community awareness to demand safe water sources.
According to a report released by the district’s water department, 2019 safe water coverage stands at 89% and functionality of safe water sources is 83% in the district. The access rate varies from 76% in Oleba to 95% in Kijomoro sub-counties among others.