|Title||Handing Over Ceremony of the Project for Water Supply in Nziu and Emali Regions of Makueni County|
|Date||8th October 2014|
|Location||Mulenyu (Mwilu River), Makueni County, Kenya|
|Project title||The Project for Water Supply in Nziu and Emali Regions of Makueni County|
|Main activity||The handing over ceremony of the Project for Water Supply in Nziu and Emali Regions of Makueni County was held on 8th October 2014. A grant contract extending funds amounting to 109,775 US dollars to the implementing organization (Utooni) had been signed on 20th February 2013. The fund was used to construct 5 sand dams and 6 shallow wells on Kateli, Shaewa, Mwilu and Muooni rivers. Sand dams are reinforced concrete walls built on a rock bed across seasonal rivers to capture and hold water under the sand over rainy season.
The ceremony commenced with ribbon cutting by Mr Mikio Mori, Deputy Ambassador of Japan in Kenya. Mr. Mori also unveiled the plaque and planted a commemorative tree.
At the ceremony, the community members expressed how difficult their life had been before the construction of the sand dams. With the task usually assigned to women and children, they used to walk for 4kms to collect water and wait up to 3 days before washing clothes or bathing. With access to water all year long, the community has started growing plantation which will ensure food security in the region.
The senior chief of the area, Mr. Julius K Maina, together with the chief of the location, Mr. Titus Mviisya Mativo, both congratulated the community and Utooni for the accomplishment and expressed the need for more water projects in the area. Utooni Development Organization’s director, Mr Kevin Munene, noted that with 345 million people in Africa with no access to water, there was still a lot to be done. The sand dam technology, which is sustainable and environmentally-friendly, requires minimum maintenance and should be deployed in other regions. The organization has so far constructed more than 1,500 sand dams in Makueni, Machakos and Kajiado regions.
Mr Mikio Mori congratulated the organization and the local community for the successful completion of the project. He noted that one of the key strategic approaches of the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development held in Yokohama, Japan, last year was to “improve access to safe water (and sanitary condition) for 10 million people”.
Ann Murimi, the project coordinator at Utooni concluded the ceremony with a vote of thanks to the community and the embassy.
Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects 2013/2014: Handing Over Ceremony of the Project for Water Supply in Nziu and Emali Regions of Makueni County
October 8, 2014