PHASE II KITUIUNI COMMUNITY WATER PROJECT REPORT CONTINUED
|On Feb 17th 2008, the Water Committee met to continue deliberations on the Water Project as they waited for the report from those members who were charged with the responsibility to shop around to be sure the prices for the materials which were previously quoted were the best in the market.
The Councilor of the area was invited to the meeting and allowed to address it. He urged the members to co-operate in their work for this project and any other developmental activities in this rural area of Kenya. The committee needed to effectively involve the entire community in the work as this was a participatory enterprise for all who had a stake in the Project. Every effort was also to be made to make sure the water flowed to all the proposed and feasible areas, where the power of gravity would make this possible.
In the meeting Mr. John Mutheke, the Water Chairman and Project Advisor, reported on where the new committee had reached with the new Phase II Project. He reported how, on February 14th. 2008 a group of 8 members had volunteered and worked for two days to measure and confirm the piping length from the point where Phase I had reached, i.e. from Kilonzo-Matee’s place, to all the other projected destinations.
The names of these volunteers were:-
As a result of these measurements, the number of pipes needed was confirmed as shown in the initial report. In addition, it was determined 9 Water Kiosks would need to be constructed at key points to serve as central water outlets for those particular areas. The reason for this is explained below:-
These kiosks will act as distribution centers serving the people in that particular area. The idea was deemed to be of great importance especially during those seasons when the volume of the River water was extremely low and not enough water to reach the various households; for instance in prolonged drought seasons, these kiosks would prove to be of great importance in water rationing.
In a subsequent meeting held on March 9th 2008 the Water Chairman pursued his line of urging the mobilization of the whole community to participate in the Work. One of the things the community had to do was to clear the path through where the trenches for the pipes would pass. The two village headmen would arrange to gather together all the members of Kituiuni Community and speak with them about the bush clearing and other jobs that would be following after that. However, even before that, some members of the committee were only too glad to volunteer for the job of clearing the bushes to make a path through which the pipes would pass. But there would be many more occasions when the community as a whole would need to be summoned for more demanding tasks.
As the continued benefit of the Water Project would depend on water availability, the issue of environmental conservation was an agenda of high importance to the water committee. And in order to high light this point, the Water Chairman proposed an invitation of representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and The Ministry of Health to hold a meeting at the main water source in order to talk to the community about the need to protect the river water source and also to avoid contaminating the water in anyway like washing clothes at the catchment area, etc.
In the next meeting held on April 6th, it was reported that, all the bush clearings had been done, although some shrubs presented some unanticipated problems since their trunks had deep roots which needed more time to dig up and had to be left for the time being. Another report given in the meeting was from the two people who had been sent to the City of Nairobi to shop some more for price quotes in order to compare them with those already gotten.
The water committee deliberated on these quotations, the verification of the supplies quality and the cost of transportation of the materials to the sites from Nairobi which is about 100 miles away and it was decided that, although Nunguni Hardware had the highest quotes, yet it presented a variety of benefits which would override any apparent gain in the other quotations, from Nairobi which was far away.
Nunguni Hardware is located in the nearest town to Kituiuni; approximately 5 miles away. The vendor agreed not to charge transportation for the material to the sites. The transportation costs from Nairobi where all the other vendors were located was bound to be substantial and especially due today’s high fuel cost.
Moreover, because the material would be purchased from a local vendor, it would provide an important economic boost to the local economy which would have a ripple effect in a variety of ways in the community including, but not limited to employment, small business activities.
It was therefore resolved that, materials would be purchased from the local Nunguni Hardware Store. The vendor would provide free transportation of materials to the site saving the Project over Kshs. 35,000 (approximately $500). Not a huge amount, but still something. Moreover, the Hardware Store is conveniently located in case of additional materials being required in a hurry as the work progressed. Another advantage considered in making the decision to buy materials locally was that, the store offered one roof shopping while the other vendors only provided certain things and not others e.g. the PCV Pipes but not the accessories. Payment for the supplies was to be made on Wednesday 21st May 2008.
In that meeting, it was also decided that a Water Technician and an experienced plumber would be hired to inspect the quality of pipes supplied to be sure it was the right one which conformed to the Kenya Bureau of Standards. The Water Technician located in the near by Kilome Agricultural Office would regularly inspect the plumbing works as the Project progressed. A budget of about Kshs. 5,000 (i.e. $72) would be allocated to this service.
Labor Costs Approved in by the Committee were:-
Francis Kilavi, a board member of KUSARD and a well regarded member of the community would undertake the work of coordinating the volunteer work by the community in digging trenches, ferrying stones, sand, digging up shrubs in the way of the water pipes both in Kituiuni and Mutanda ridges. He assured the committee that the community would work collectively on the Project for at least 2 days each week until the work is completed. The hired unskilled laborers would be working on the other days accompanied by the skilled laborers i.e. the Plumbers and the Masons.
It was also decided the Water Committee would continue to work on the modalities of constructing a large storage tank and fencing off the water intake point to secure the place and protect the water flow, from there to the tanks and to the various households in the communities.
Finally in the same meeting, it was resolved that the official launching of Phase 2 would be done on Friday May 30th 2008 at 10:00am. Guest of honor and other dignitaries would be contacted to mark the event. This would include the Area Member of Parliament, the Area Councilor, The Area Chief, Church Priests and other Community leaders. All KUSARD officials promised to avail themselves for the event. It was also agreed, work would commence on that day and so the water committee would assure that the technicians, plumbers, volunteers and materials were on site.
Once all the needed materials were procured and local materials collected by the Community were done and the bush clearance and trench digging was complete, the work started and it continued for months on end until Phase 2 was completed and the water reached all the targeted Phase 2 users. Phase 3 would begin if KUSARD was able to find any funding for it and efforts towards this final Phase started on a hopeful note.
END OF REPORT
Simon K. Maweu