First ever boreholes to be drilled in remote East Pokot to end water shortage

Thousands of residents in remote villages of Kolowa and Tirioko wards in Tiaty West  Sub County will soon sigh in relief as they are expected to benefit from five water boreholes set to be drilled courtesy of the Pokot Outreach Ministries[POM] Harvesters Organization.

Residents in the area have been trekking for close to 50 kilometers in search of water for domestic use and their livestock from River Kerio.

According to residents of Adich, Lodeng’o, Loyamoi, Kraese, Lokis and Kambi villages, the project will mark history for the first-ever boreholes to be dug in the area.

The boreholes drilling project will boost the accessibility of water hence helping address water shortage and challenges in the water-scarce areas hit by drought.

West Pokot senator  Julius Murgor who is the patron for the POM organization said the project will help address water shortage and challenges in the area adding it was delayed for two years running after the water rig broke down and heavy rainfall that led to landslides in the area.

The senator who launched the project at Adich village on Wednesday said the water project is a strategy for pacifying pastoralist communities by increasing the capacity of the existing water infrastructure and helping reduce competition for the precious resource.

“We have plans to sink boreholes in Lolwat and Kapedo areas,” he said.

Rev Murgor noted that a total of five boreholes will be drilled in East Pokot and more than 300 have been drilled in West Pokot County.

“The boreholes will cushion residents and livestock from thirst,” he said.

He noted that residents in remote villages will now access clean water from the boreholes for domestic use.

“Residents used to have many conflicts and now will reduce,” noted Rev Murgor.

The senator pointed out that residents will be able to take up agricultural activities through irrigation as well as revive livestock rearing in the region.

‘The area is dry and residents have been facing hunger due to lack of water for farming.” said Rev Murgor.

He said that access to clean water among the residents will drastically reduce water-borne diseases in the area.

“The project will help residents avoid congestion while drawing water from boreholes. Locals used to fight while drawing water. We have invested to ensure increased access to sustainable and safe water supply for area residents and school children,” he said.

Murgor said the boreholes of 100 meters will benefit between 1500-2000 households in each village.

“There has been a high risk of an outbreak of diseases, resource-based conflicts,” he said.

A resident Naomi Rukou from Adich village said that dirty water attributed to the effects of waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid will be significantly reduced hence improving hygiene.

“We used to take water from Kerio River which is very alkaline and green and as a result, we used to visit the local dispensary daily. Access to clean water will reduce such cases,” she said.

She said that pastoralists in the area are now relieved as livestock can easily access water.

“Our animals will now get water easily. We have suffered for a long time, carrying children on our backs and taking livestock to the Kerio river.We have wounds on our backs. We lost a lot of livestock during the drought and this led to insecurity,” Rukou said.

She said crops failed due following the long drought that was witnessed in the region.

“We are drinking dirty water from the dam with frogs and dogs,” she said.

She said that schools were closed early due to lack of water.

“Schools like Adich,Tilingwa and Kamarisia were affected. We had no time for sleeping because use has been going for water day and night. Children learn for only two hours and they come to school at 10 am,” she said.

Dennis Chetakwat from Tiaty said insecurity is as a result of lack of water in the region.

“This will now come to an end,” he said.

Eliza Lotou from Tilingwa village noted that the boreholes will help improve the social life of locals.

“We laud POM for the project. It is hard for a mother to carry 50 liters of water walking for more than 50 kilometers. We have been facing many challenges walking long distances when expectant mothers miscarry,” she said.

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