Kenya: Fed Up Kitengela Residents Build Their Own Sh40m Sewer Line

A section of Kitengela residents in Kajiado County have come together to build a Sh40 million sewer line following claims of adverse health caused by lack of a sewerage system in the populous town.

In two months, locals will have their dreams come true after a long bumpy road characterised by a myriad challenges.

Residents comprising 286 landlords from Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) area under the umbrella of Kitengela EPZ neighbouring community sewer line project have solely funded the project aimed at improving hygiene and sanitation in the area.

The sewer line which stretches along 45km to join EPZA Athi River Sewerage system in the neighbouring Machakos County, will benefit over 300 rental flats with a population of more than 20,000 tenants and 100 homes in the area and is set to commence in three months' time.

THREE PHASES

The project which has already received approvals from National Environment Management Authority (Nema) and a letter of no objection from the county government will run in three phases is expected to be complete in one year.

The populous Kitengela town at large depends on septic tanks which have become very expensive to empty with most rental plots having an overflow of sewer water.

Homes pay at least Sh15,000, commercial plots Sh27,000 and flats pay up to Sh149,000 monthly on exhaust services, but once complete, beneficiaries will pay a small flat rate maintenance fee not exceeding Sh5,000.

A sewer tanker truck charges Sh10,000 to exhaust a sewer manhole and due to the cost some homeowners are forced to cost share the services. The sewage issue has exposed residents to water borne diseases as landlords lament that the cost of emptying the liquid waste was becoming unbearable.

Public health officials have in the recent past expressed fear that some borehole water connections could be contaminated by septic tanks as sewer waters overflow.

UPHILL TASK

Speaking during the official launch of the sewer line at Kitengela Town recently, residents claimed efforts to reach out to both the national and county governments to put up a sewer line had been an uphill task forcing them to come together and raise funds to put up their own.

Locals began their contributions in 2014 where they contributed Sh3 million to conduct a feasibility study which was completed and approved.

The secretary-general of the project, Mr Titus Ndei Njari, said coverage range was reached upon after wide consultation with all concerned stakeholders.

"We have held consultative meetings with all concerned stakeholders until we successfully got an approval after the feasibility study. Landlords interested settled on a monthly contribution from their rent payments towards the project while some homeowners gave their own financial support. Nobody has been forced to contribute any money; it's their own will and willingness to support the initiative," said Mr Ndei.

Landlords in phase one contributed Sh200,000, while phase two and three landlords gave Sh250,000 per plot based on population density and distance covered.

SUPPORT THEM

The residents further call on willing stakeholders and the county government to support them to ensure the sewer line is complete and extended to other areas within Kitengela.

"For years we had a lot of sewage challenges that was an eyesore and a health threat in most of the rental houses. Septic tanks management consumed monthly up to 50 per cent the rent collected," says Mr Ndei.

The high cost of exhausting has forced landlords to ration water usage to cut down on costs.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Nairobi News

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.