Kakamega County Assembly has enacted a law to develop rural water and sanitation infrastructure,which also enhances promotion of the use of green energy in villages.
The Kakamega County Rural Water and Sanitation Corporation Bill,2019 now awaiting the governor’s assent, seeks to provide a legal framework for provision of water and sanitation services in rural areas within the county and establish the Kakamega County Rural Water and Sanitation Corporation.
According to the Bill, the corporation will among other functions, implement the mandate of county government in ensuring access to adequate, safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all rural areas within the county, provide and manage water and sanitation services in rural areas, enhance effective water governance including catchment areas based integrated water resources management and appropriate trans-boundary co-operation.
The approved bill, has also heavy penalties for anyone found obstructing, interfering with or diverting water from any water course or water resource or allows any such obstruction, interference or diversion; pollutes or causes to be polluted any water resources; or defaces, alters, removes or interferes with any water works falling under the mandate of the corporation.
A person who commits an offence under this Act, for which no other penalty is provided shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 in the Fourth Schedule, gives county governments power to manage county public works and services, including (a) storm water management systems in built-up areas; and water and sanitation services.
The Bill, with a few amendments has identified more than 200 rural waters schemes in all wards in form of water supply, water points and projects in community areas, schools, health facilities to be rehabilitated or initiated as new projects.
The Committee on Environment, Water, Natural Resources and Forestry, report on the public participation on the Bill, sailed through as Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) debated the Bill during the second reading.
The Committee’s chairperson, Hon. Sakwa Limera urged his colleagues to ensure that all stalled water projects in their respective wards are revived saying the rural water law will help improve livelihoods.
We want this law to start being implemented immediately because the people we represent must effortlessly access clean and safe water. Water is life,” Hon. Boniface Akosi, MCA for Shinoyi/Shikomari/Esumeyia said.
The Bill, which is sponsored by the County Executive shall be forwarded to the governor for concurrence within 14 days from the day of its enactment by the House.