• Ndakaini Dam Environment Conservation Association (Ndeka) co-founder Mukuna Kariuki said former President commissioned the dam in 1991.
• Twenty-nine years later, locals still fetch water from rivers as the dam water is channeled to Nairobi.
Former President Daniel Moi wanted Gatanga residents to benefit from Ndakaini dam water.
Mukuna Kariuki, one of the co-founders of the Ndakaini Dam Environment Conservation Association, said Moi wanted locals to be supplied with the dam water.
Ndeka has been organising the Ndakaini marathon since 2004.
Mukuna said Moi asked the Nairobi Water Commission to ensure the dam, which supplies 82 per cent of the water consumed in Nairobi county, benefits locals.
Moi said this when he commissioned the dam in 1991, Mukuna said.
He spoke on Saturday in Nfakaini.
Twenty-eight years later, many Gatanga residents continue to grapple with lack of tap water despite neighbouring the biggest water reservoir in the country.
Mukuna said as the country mourns the former President, who will be buried on Wednesday, the government should consider honouring his wish to have Gatanga people get connected to the dam water.
Mukuna hailed Moi as an environmentalist who took the bold step of constructing the dam that has the capacity to hold 70 million cubic metres to conserve water.
A plaque he laid during the commissioning of the dam is a testimony of his interests in water conservation, he noted.
“This was a gesture to show how much concerned he was about water shortage in the City of Nairobi and its environs”.
The former President also planted a tree on the banks of the dam in 1992, a year after the reservoir became operational.
Moi prompted a few locals to form Ndeka to conserve the environment around the dam that sits on 1,200 acres.
Leaders in Murang’a county have been pushing the government to supply Ndakaini dam water to locals.
Area MP Joseph Nduati in 2018 said the government had agreed to supply the water to locals.
He said Athi Water Services Board had sent surveyors to plan how the water would be distributed in the area.
Nduati said the majority of his constituents do not have access to clean water.
“We have been supplying the city of Nairobi with water for decades yet our people still fetch water from rivers,” Nduati said.
This followed the construction of the Sh18 billion Northern Collector Tunnel that will channel 142,000 cubic metres of water from rivers into Ndakaini dam every day after its completion.
In December last year, Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria asked the government to put in place infrastructure that will help connect locals to spillover water from the dam during rainy seasons.
This was after the dam filled up following heavy rains, spilling 15,000 cubic metres of water per second.
The spillover caused rivers Chania and Thika to swell to an extent Ithanga residents, who live downstream, were cautioned to move to higher grounds.