Looming disease outbreak
Half a million people in Gusii region are facing looming communicable disease outbreak following persistent water shortage in the area.
According to Gusii Water and Sanitation Company Managing Director, John Zachariah, Kisii residents totaling 300,000, Nyamira 150,000 and Keroka 60, 0000 people are suffering water shortage due to sole dependency on Gucha River from Kegati water supply.
He confirmed the shortage was bound to persist due to lowering of water levels in the rivers and available polluted springs.
However, he noted there was no outbreak reported yet and urged the residents to treat water from the streams.
“It was confirmed springs like Nyanchwa and Daraja Moja which serve Kisii town residents are polluted as per the notice of research from the Public health officer,” he said.
He noted that it was due to high water demand by the growing population that GWASCO was requesting the county government to let them establish water treatment projects at Daraja Mbili, Kisii Bus Park, Hema Hospital, Jua Kali and at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Residents are currently getting water at exorbitant prices from vendors.
Zachariah blamed human encroachment to water sources due to increasing population, planting of eucalyptus trees in wetlands, dwindling springs, perpetual power outages and aquifers.
He stated that they are working closely with the USA Government, German Development Bank, to construct dams, maintaining and upgrading the present reservoirs.
By Joseph Obwoge/Daniel Masese/Jane Naitore