Water is life. Access to water is not only about meeting basic human needs but it is also critical to sustainable development. Due to the insufficiency of this basic commodity, parts of Nyeri County particularly Kieni East and Kieni West sub-counties which forms 52 % land mass of the county have not been able to live up to its full potential – being the food basket for the county. It is estimated that with sufficient water supply, Kieni could feed the country, as it has good soils and a favorable topography. It is to this realization that the County Government of Nyeri under the leadership of H.E Governor Mutahi Kahiga through the Department of Water and Irrigation has gone ahead to sink a total of 46 boreholes in the county in a bid to increase water supply from 65% three years ago to 80% by 2022 in rural areas and from 80% to 90 % in urban areas. Some projects are complete while others are ongoing with a success rate of over 80%.
Out of the 46 bore holes, 29 have been done fully by the county government while 17 have been done in partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Tana Water Works Development Agency (TWWDA). 42 boreholes are in Kieni East and Kieni West sub counties while four are in Mathira East sub-county. The boreholes have a capacity of producing over 400,000 litres per hour with Kanyiriri bore hole in Kieni West yielding 80,000 litres per hour and Kienjero borehole in Mugunda ward having a water discharge of up to 41,400 litres per hour. Other major boreholes include Nyange, Ndima-ini, Ex-pages, Mahiga, Biricha, Kiboya among others. The county government is seeking to exploit ground water as the ASAL Kieni is not endowed with rivers like other Nyeri sub-counties. The county is aiming at using solar energy to pump the water as it is renewable with zero energy bills.
These water projects are expected to subsequently boost food production in these areas. This will be a tremendous achievement not only for the County Government of Nyeri, but for a country as a whole. Apart from sinking boreholes, the department has also constructed another 30 water pans and constructed piped water projects worth Ksh.0.5 billion. The department projects to sink over 10 more boreholes to boost water provision especially in the dry parts of the county.