ENVIRONMENT DEGRADED

Kiambu raises the alarm over destruction of water sources

County government accuses residents of encroachment, warns of a water crisis in the future.

In Summary
  • The population of Kiambu and Nairobi is rising with a high demand for clean water.
  • Residents from areas with water sources need to be sensitised on environmental conservation.
Kiambu water executive David Kuria speaking to environment stakeholders at Kinale on Tuesday.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION: Kiambu water executive David Kuria speaking to environment stakeholders at Kinale on Tuesday.
Image: GEORGE MUGO

The Kiambu government has raised concerns about the destruction of water sources following encroachment by residents.

It says most water sources in Lari are depended upon by people in Kiambu, Karuri, Rwaka and parts of Nairobi.

The water department says with an increase in apartments in Rwaka, Banana, Gachie and Kiambu, if the water sources are not guarded and managed properly, the county may experience water shortage in the future.

Water executive David Kuria says some rivers, including Gatamaiyu and Bathi, originate from the area.

“They have several sources in our forests and villages. We may not see them as important here, but they help so many people in Kiambu and Nairobi,” he said.

Both rivers drain into Ruiru dam, which is managed by Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company that distributes water to parts of lower Kiambu and Nairobi.

Officials from water and environment department in Kiambu visit a river where a resident is alleged to have fenced a river to restraining locals from accessing it.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION: Officials from water and environment department in Kiambu visit a river where a resident is alleged to have fenced a river to restraining locals from accessing it.
Image: GEORGE MUGO

Kuria was speaking in Kinale ward on Tuesday where he met with water stakeholders, community forest association, chiefs and assistant chiefs, as well as Kijabe assistant county commissioner Geraldine Barasa.

The executive applauded Governor James Nyoro for allowing them to hold such a forum.

Kuria said human activities such a charcoal burning and land-grab endanger the environment, more so water sources.

He said the government will start holding awareness exercises so that water sources and riparian areas can be protected.

Barasa said the national administration will support all efforts put in place by stakeholders to conserve the environment.

Kijabe assistant county commissioner Geraldine Barasa speaking at the meeting with water and environment stakeholders on Tuesday.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION: Kijabe assistant county commissioner Geraldine Barasa speaking at the meeting with water and environment stakeholders on Tuesday.
Image: GEORGE MUGO

A resident Peter Kagoni says there are so many issues regarding conservation that they need to be taught.

“We shall attend all awareness activities so that we can protect the environment,” Kagoni said.

At the same time, Kuria expressed concern about the encroachment on the Gatamaiyu river by a resident who has fenced it and is farming its banks.

He said residents used to fetch water there for domestic use, but the point has been sealed with barbed wire, adding that they will investigate how the resident acquired and fenced the land.

Michael Nyanja of Karuri Water Company said they will create awareness so that people do not till riparian land and desist from using fertilisers near rivers to protect water sources.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)