Thwake Dam community ecstatic, vow to implement health campaigns Wote, Monday, February 7, 2022

Thwake Dam community ecstatic, vow to implement health campaigns Wote, Monday, February 7, 2022

By Godffrey Olali

Hundreds of residents drawn from rural parts of Makueni and Kitui counties residing near Thwake Multipurpose Dam project last week attended a series of health communication outreach campaigns aimed at influencing and imparting positive behaviors.

The campaigns spearheaded by the Program Implementation Team (PIT) from the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation and conducted by ICPHER Consultants, took place between February 3-4, 2022.

The Town Hall sessions saw residents – mostly drawn from villages neighboring the project –  undergo sensitization on positive change behaviors and health matters.

More ongoing campaigns are expected to be rolled out.

The campaigns which took place in Masimba, Mandongoi, Syotuvali and Kathongo sub-locations of Kitui Rural and Mbooni East areas, was also attended by Community Liaison Team from Snowy Mountains Engineering Consultants (SMEC) and members of the local administration led by assistant county commissioners, chiefs and assistant chiefs.

“Health campaign strategies we are championing today aim at changing your knowledge, attitudes and behaviors even as the construction of this dam progresses. A lot of opportunities will come along the way, hence the need to change our behaviors and live a healthy lifestyle,” said Ms. Rhoda Kambua, the Gender and Social Development Expert for the PIT when she spoke during one of the community town hall sessions held in Masimba sub-location, Kitui Rural.

She was flanked by Senior Community Liaison Officer from SMEC Mr. Dominick Kyenza who educated the residents on the benefits of the dam.

A team from consulting company – ICPHER which has been undertaking the exercise, presented elaborate health talks to the residents who were enthusiastic about the benefits that the dam will bring to them.

ICPHER has been carrying out a series of interventions through health communication campaigns covering water borne ailments like cholera, typhoid and dysentery.  Others are Covid-19, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancies, issues of lifestyle diseases and respiratory infections.

The Government of Kenya and the African Development Bank (AfDB) are jointly funding this program being implemented by the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation. It will comprise a multi-purpose dam for water supply, hydropower generation and irrigation development in Makueni, Kitui and parts of Machakos counties. It will also provide regulation of flows on Athi River downstream of the dam for flood and drought mitigation.