Makueni County has boasted of impressive achievements since the inception of Counties, being a destination to schooling other governors on how devolution works to the latest unqualified opinion by Auditor General.
However, to irony, there is much than what the public has been served with, hospitals are struggling amid water shortage with patients going for months without bathing while others are not able to purchase drinking water.
The County has been pumping billions in water sector but this has not been able to guarantee locals of clean drinking water with the latest allocation in 2018/2019 budget with the department of water getting sh. 1Billion.
A reality check on Makueni referral hospital-the county’s biggest referral health institution-found crippling state with the hospital having gone for months without running water.
Patients across wards who have been admitted in the facility for more than a month secretly revealed that there are fears of outbreak of diseases since most of them stay for a long period without bathing with their visiting relatives forced to bring drinking water and bathing water.
If a patient is not visited then will not have water to take medicine with and quench thirst.
“Diseases might spread in this facility. There are patients here who have gone for long without bathing, they check on the showers only to find they are dry. Sometimes there is water in a tank that people have to queue but when the boozers fail to pump the water visiting relatives and friends bring water from outside”, a patient revealed.
The areas of the facility that have been frequently hit by water problem include the newly opened maternity mother and child unit, surgical operations in the theatre, laundry sections, and toilets among others, a situation that may cause loss of life.
We met a patient who has been in the facility since March having a kidney problem and informed us that in his ward there are patients who toilet on their beds and fail to take bath making the room smelly and uncomfortable.
Water points for washing hands from toilets are either dry or almost dry as early as 10:00 a.m.
County Executive Member (ECM) for water, Bob Kisyula, admitted that not only the hospitals but also most regions in the County had been hit by water scarcity. He blames nature for the problems.
He notes of two contributing factors to the water problem in the facility-low volumes of December rains and early drying of River Kaiti which acts as a source of water for Wote town.
“We expected the rains to continue for long but they failed. The water sump located in River Kaiti when the water is flowing produces 1600cm3/day but now we have a capacity of 200cm3/day getting pumped which has caused this”, said Kisyula.
He also alluded of the County having drilled three boreholes in Mwaani area that are producing between 100-1200cm3 /day but according to residents no water in their taps resulting in purchasing water from donkey water vendors.
As a mitigation measure, the ECM says the hospital gets supplied with water using boozers.
Bahari.co.ke has learned of a stalled sh. 100M national government water project at Kaiti-Kamunyee area that was supposed to be completed by October last year.
The water project was intended to cushion water supply to Wote town and its environs and end shame of donkey era.
However, sources privy to the contract revealed that the current contractor might have under quoted and not able to complete the works with sh. 100M hence contract canceled. It’s being funded by World Bank and aims at producing 800cm3 in a day.
Notably, the county has recently received sh. 300m from the national government to do a water sump upstream of river Kaiti to supply water to Wote town residents.