Italian firm to set up Sh. 20 million desalination plant in Lamu

Children accessing water at the ocean. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: The County government of Lamu has partnered with an Italian firm Azienda Generale Italian Petroli-AGIP, to establish a desalination plant that will turn saline Indian Ocean water into fresh water for subsistence use in Lamu East.

The desalination plant which is estimated to cost Sh. 20 million will be based at Siyu Village.

The move is a new ray of hope for residents in Lamu East who have had challenges in accessing fresh water.

Many have on most occasions been forced to rely on salty saline water even for their subsistence use.

Earlier in the year, the county government of Lamu launched a water distribution programme where fresh water would be ferried in trucks aboard boats all the way from Lamu Island across the ocean to villagers in Lamu East.

The exercise has not only proved exhausting,risky and challenging but has not also been able to adequately cater for the needs of the over 10,000 Islanders in Lamu East.

As such,the county government of Lamu was forced to seek external help from well-wishers and donors in order to be able to address the perennial fresh water scarcity which has been made worse by the ravaging drought and hence the new partnership with AGIP.

Earlier in the week,Lamu Governor Issa Timamy accompanied together with the Italian Ambassador to Kenya Mauro Masoni and the General Manager of AGIP Kenya Lucker Dragoneti, visited Siyu village to inspect the site earmarked for the desalination plant.

Speaking then,the governor said fresh water scarcity was a big challenge in the area but expressed optimism that the problem would soon be forgotten once the desalination plant is completed.

Construction of the plant is expected to commence anywhere between April and May 2017 and is expected to be completed in six months.

Upon completion,the desalination plant is expected to produce at least 2500 litres of fresh water per hour.

“This is a timely project for the people of this area. On behalf of the people of Siyu and the county government of Lamu at large, I want to appreciate AGIP for the gesture.we shall lend all the necessary support to ensure success of the project,” said Timamy.