KATHWANA, THARAKA NITHI COUNTY — First Lady Margaret Kenyatta was today joined by her Zimbabwean counterpart, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, to open a water project to benefit the people of Kajuki area in Tharaka Nithi County.
Mrs Mnangagwa, is in the country on a mission to share and learn from the experience and knowledge of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta in supporting the vulnerable.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the official opening of Kajuki Water Treatment Plant, nearly 200 kilometres outside Nairobi, Mrs Mnangagwa said she has learnt invaluable lessons during her visit in Kenya.
“My mission is to share experience with my counterpart. I have gained great wealth of knowledge from the work of Kenya’s First Lady especially in her work to support women and Children,” said the Zimbabwe First Lady.
Mrs Mnangagwa commended First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for the role she has played in mobilising resources to give a helping hand to the vulnerable in society.
The Zimbabwean First Lady said she feels challenged to replicate in Zimbabwe some of the projects Kenya’s First Lady has championed including the Kajuki Water Treatment Plant.
The Kajuki project was implemented through a partnership between First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, the Kenya Red Cross and Nairobi Ram Katha Famine Relief Fund and their partners.
The First Lady thanked those who contributed to fund the treatment plant that will provide better options for clean water and storage for the people of the area who have previously relied on untreated water.
“It gives hope to women for the future of their children – because they will be protected from the burden of illness from waterborne diseases,” said the First Lady.
She said it was commendable that the Kenya Red Cross has set up similar water treatment plants in Kilifi, Makueni and Kakamega Counties to respond to the water crises experienced as a result of harsh climate change realities.
The First Lady said the provision of clean water will give hope to women for the future of their children being free from the burden of waterborne diseases.
“It is painful when we see many children miss school, or are too frail to learn because of diarrhoea or cholera. Poor health cumulatively diminishes our productivity as a nation,” said the First Lady as she urged leaders to work harder in finding long term solutions for environmental stability.
The First Lady challenged women to have more roles in changing the water and sanitation practices in homes and communities.
“As mothers, homemakers, care-givers, educators and leaders, we have the important role of advocating for and teaching behaviour that safeguards the health of our families,” said the First Lady.
Cabinet Secretary for Water, Simon Chelugui, said the Government will continue prioritising water and sanitation, noting that major projects in the sector are underway in all parts of the country.
Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Guled said the project will benefit 5,000 people living in the area and has the capacity to serve 20,000 more.
The representative of Ram Katha Nairobi Famine Relief Fund, Mr Kaushik Manek also spoke at the event, saying that the organisation will continue supporting activities to support the needy.
Tharaka Nithi leaders led by Governor Muthomi Njuki spoke at the event and thanked the First Lady for her role in championing interventions to support the vulnerable.