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On a beautiful sunny Thursday afternoon in October, guests gathered at Barut’s chief camp to commission the Urban Project Concept (UPC) 5. The people’s faces were filled with smiles and one could easily tell the excitement and joy in their hearts.

The commissioning was attended by the County Minister for Environment, Natural resources, water and energy- Hon. Richard Kipsang Rop; Water Services Trust Fund representative- Lawrence Ojwang; MCA Barut - Samuel Tirop; Rift Valley Water Services Board Representative (RVWSB)- Eng. Gicheru,  Eng. James Ng’ang’a - MD NAWASSCO, representatives of the provincial administration, members of the community and NAWASSCO Management and Staff Members.

Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company Ltd (NAWASSCO) continues to embrace the words envisaged in their motto – ‘enriching life’ by reaching the underserved community in the Low Income Areas of Nakuru. NAWASSCO established a pro-poor unit that seeks to coordinate company-wide efforts to provide ±175,000 people in Nakuru’s Low Income Areas (LIAs) with access to safe water and improved sanitation.

The 5th Call project funded by WSTF benefits the areas of Barut, Bondeni, Mithonge and Githima which are some of the Low income areas in Nakuru County consisting of more than 20,000 residents. The areas had challenges accessing clean safe water and they had been relying on individual and communal boreholes, rivers and streams for the precious commodity.

The various speakers of the day expressed their joy during the commissioning. In his welcoming remarks, Mr. James Gathairu- Commercial Manager NAWSSCO said that “the people in the four areas now have access to clean and safe water. His words were echoed by local leaders, beneficiaries, task force representatives and the community. Barut Community Health Organization (BACHO), a community based organization spoke through a skit that depicted their previous struggles of water before the UPC 5 project. In the skit, women walked long distances, school children’s performance was negatively affected and many families were affected by water borne diseases because of contaminated water sources.

During the project’s implementation, community involvement is Key. Lawrence Ojwang, the WSTF representative advised the community to continue being involved in development projects. He also urged the community to “receive the project whole heartedly and take care of it”.  WSFT has given NAWASSCO more than Ksh 100 million for various projects which has : seen; 135,000km of pipeline extension laid, 52 yard taps built, more than 1073 water meters installed and 15 prepaid meters installed. WSTF and NAWASSCO continue to have a good development working relationship and will see many more proposals written and project implemented to help communities in the Low Income Areas.

Hon Rop. stressed the county’s governments continued support in issues of development. He said that the county will continue to ensure that the right to clean and safe water enshrined in the constitution of Kenya. Hon Rop said; “If we are able to use the water well, development in the areas will be vivid through agriculture and other economic activities”. The Minister thanked NAWASSCO for writing the proposal and WSTF for helping implement the project. His words were reinstated by the Eng. Ng’ang’a - MD NAWASSCO, “the company will continue to write attractive proposals that give positive reports”. He also thanked Rift Valley Water Services Board for being involved in proposal writing and implementation of the projects.

In His closing Remarks, Mr. Makori- Finance Manager NAWASSCO thanked all the guests present and reminded the beneficiaries to take care of the project by stating the Chinese proverb-"When you drink the water, remember the spring."

The function culminated in a tree planting and ribbon cutting ceremony at the water kiosk at Barut’s Chief Camp after which members of the community lead by the County Minister and other guests drew water from the kiosk.

Written by: Grace Kabubu