A timely intervention by a foreign investor has filled Kikambala residents in Kilifi County with confidence they can now beat the novel Coronavirus in their neighbourhood.
Elsek Group of Companies CEO Elsek Osman has provided running water for the residents who can now use piped water from any of five different water points.
Rajab Bolingo, a resident and plumber who was contracted to lay the 1.7km of pipes from Osman’s house, termed it as the most important gestures they have ever received and appreciated.
Kikambala Sun ‘n’ Sand village has a population of slightly above 2,500 and have been suffering from water water.
“We may go up to two weeks without water in the taps for the few who have tap water in their houses,” said Bolingo.
Residents had to walk for tens of kilometres to fetch the precious commodity.
Osman has drilled several boreholes in his 8.5-acre compound, which is along the road leading to Sun ‘n’ Sand Beach Resort, from which he pumps the water to the five water points.
As a result, the residents can now easily access the 500,000 litres of water pumped from the boreholes to their neighbourhood daily.
“With the advent of this Coronavirus we can now breathe a sigh of relief. We wash our hands almost every minute because that is what we have been told,” said Bolingo.
Aisha Makenzi says women have been spared kilometres of trekking to fetch the commodity.
“We now only stroll a short distance to fetch water for drinking and also for domestic chores,” said Makenzi.
After the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, Osman now also provides soap at all the five water points.
However, he says he is ‘disappointed’ by the residents who ‘keep on stealing the soaps’.
“But I understand them and it is not a problem for me. They steal to go and use at home which is also okay. I can always replace the stolen soap. It does not cost much,” said Osman.
Juma Anderson, a boda boda rider, says they are now more cautious than ever over the disease.
“Before the water provided by Osman, we never used to bother washing our hands since we carry many different people who we do not know,” said Anderson.
Now, he says, they wash not only their hands after every trip that they make, but also frequently wash their bikes.
“Business has improved for us since we started washing our bikes frequently because clients say we are now more clean and are impressed,” said Anderson.
[A woman fetching water donated by Elsek Osman of the elsek group of companies. Photo/courtesy].
A vegetable vendor, Habiba Ibrahim says she forces her customers to wash their hands at one of the five water points which has been installed right in front of her kiosk, before they touch any food item.
Engineer Robert Bakila urged more of the wealthy individuals who reside in Kikambala to follow suit and also do something for the community.
“We live in harmony with them and some have even invested in hotels and resorts here. They should do more Corporate Social Responsibility activities that benefit locals,” he said.
Osman says he is in talks with different stakeholders to join hands with him to increase the amount of water provided to the residents.
He has asked the Kenya Power Company to consider reducing the electricity bills because the water he pumps goes out to the community.