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Nairobi, 8 Feb 07

UN-HABITAT in collaboration with the Governments of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and with financial support from the Government of the Netherlands has embarked on a water and sanitation project in four towns around Lake Victoria.

The project, which will entail infrastructure rehabilitation and capacity building, is designed to assist towns in the Lake Victoria area meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water and sanitation, that is, to halve the number of people without access to water and sanitation facilities.

The Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Initiative, which focuses on lasting benefits for the poor, will be implemented in a total of six towns. Two towns in each East African country have been selected for the first phase of the project. Homa Bay and Kisii in Kenya, Muleba and Bukoba in Tanzania, and Masaka and Kyotera in Uganda.

The work that is under way in Bukoba, Muleba, Kisii and Homa Bay is expected to have immediate impact in improving water and sanitation services for 150,000 people. The focus is on rehabilitation of water supply sources, extending water supplies to the poor and constructing sanitation facilities. Five contracts, totalling US$1,069,860 were signed in December 2006 for work in the towns of Bukoba and Muleba. The scope of work for these contracts will include rehabilitation of the Bukoba Town water system including supply and installation of pumps, restoration of water storage tanks and construction of water kiosks and establishment of school sanitation facilities. In Muleba town, contractors are constructing public water kiosks and sanitation facilities and pumps will be installed at an existing borehole.

In Kisii and Homa Bay in Kenya, four contracts totalling US$617,000 have been signed. The scope of work for the four contracts includes supply and installation of pipes, pumps, water meters, valves and fittings and solid waste handling equipment for both towns. The project also covers rehabilitation of treatment works, and construction of public water kiosks and integrated sanitation facilities at schools and public institutions.

The second phase of the three-phase Lake Victoria Initiative will focus on capacity building and training and is set to begin in the coming months while the third phase will emphasize longer term programmes.

Expected outcomes of the project include: improved access to water and sanitation services in the project areas; functional and gender focused structures for sustainable management and monitoring of the rehabilitated systems; institutionalised capacity building programmes to regularly update the skills and knowledge of stakeholders; and reduction in pollutant loads entering into Lake Victoria.

 
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