WATER REDIRECTED

Kiambu residents feud after dam breaks its banks

A trench was dug to redirect water to Lari scheme, destroying homes and crops

In Summary

• Some people, suspected to be from Githirioni, dug a 10-foot trench on Sunday night to redirect the water to the neighbouring Lari Scheme location.

• The government has ordered the blocking of the trench.

Farmer Karanja Githuku in his flooded carrot farm at Lari scheme
Farmer Karanja Githuku in his flooded carrot farm at Lari scheme
Image: /GEORGE MUGO

Trouble is brewing between residents of two locations in Lari constituency, Kiambu county, after a dam broke its banks, flooding people's homes and destroying crops.

The problem started after water from the dam flooded homes, a Full Gospel Churches of Kenya Church and Salome Academy in Githirioni location. Some people, suspected to be from Githirioni, dug a 10-foot trench on Sunday night to redirect the water to the neighbouring Lari Scheme location. 

On Monday, the entire area – Lari Scheme – was flooded and residents called for the arrest of the people who dug the trench.

 
 

On Saturday, government officials and water engineers, led by Kiambu Water executive David Kuria, had visited the dam to assess the situation.

Lari Scheme resident Joyce Githuku said more than 50 homes were flooded and crops destroyed.

“Our homes are flooded. We also grow cabbages, carrots, spinach and potatoes for sale, but they have been destroyed by the water. This is a huge loss,” she said.

Peter Kanyingi claimed that whoever dug the trench must be from Githirioni.

“We want to know how he or she did it, with whose instructions and why,” he said.

The government, led by Lari senior assistant county commissioner Dolphine Okondo, ordered the blocking of the trench, saying more people have been affected in Lari Scheme than those on the upper side of Githirioni.

Okondo was accompanied by chiefs George Kahonoki (Lari Scheme) and John Njoroge (Githirioni) and water engineers.

 
 

Okondo asked area chiefs to be checking on the dam every day so that no one interferes with it.

She said the trench will be closed as the government discusses how to drain water from the 25-acre dam.

Lari Kirenga MCA Joseph Karichu said he is looking for mosquito nets and food for the affected families.

Karichu said he will only rest when everyone is safe.

"As we look for ways to drain the dam, I am looking for mosquito nets. We do not want to report a malaria outbreak in this area. We are also looking for food since people's food crops have been destroyed by the water," the MCA said.

Edited by A.N

 

Residents of Lari scheme in Lari subcounty wade through water flowing from a dam in Githirioni location
Residents of Lari scheme in Lari subcounty wade through water flowing from a dam in Githirioni location
Image: /GEORGE MUGO
Githirioni location resident Njung'e Gathea points at the dam on Monday.
Githirioni location resident Njung'e Gathea points at the dam on Monday.
Image: GEORGE MUGO