COVID-19 EFFECTS

Vihiga's Sh1.7 billion water project halted

Contractor flew back to Belgium when Kenya recorded coronavirus

In Summary

• Project was 79% done and was to be completed by late September. 

• It was targeting over 300,000 residents. 

Chief officer of water and natural resources Dominick Luvavo with residents in Luanda subcounty
Chief officer of water and natural resources Dominick Luvavo with residents in Luanda subcounty
Image: MARTIN OMBIMA

A Sh1.7 billion water project in Vihiga has been halted as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Water chief officer Dominic Luvavo said the Belgian contractor fled the country after the virus was confirmed and is not known when he will return.

The project sponsored by the Belgian government would benefit more than 300,000 Vihiga residents. 

 

“Most countries have banned flights into and out of their borders so we can’t exactly tell when he will fly back to complete the project,” Luvavo said.

He said the project's September deadline will be extended to next year.

“The contractor had already covered 79 per cent of his work. We were sure he could have finished it by July. Then August could have been the county’s time for inspection and testing of its efficiency.”

Water vender in Luanda town
Water vender in Luanda town
Image: MARTIN OMBIMA

The officer said the contractor had started installing solar panels at the Kaimosi water plant.

All the required pipes for water connection from the main water points have already been bought, Luvavo said, “but whatever comes, the project will be completed”.

“People have been struggling to get water more so during the dry seasons we want to change that by mid-next year and that will be our legacy. Once we are done with this project, we shall visit the Nang’oli water project that has also stalled for long,” he added. 

Edited by R.Wamochie