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Water relief as Northern Collector Tunnel to be ready in 6 months

CS Chelugui says tunnelling to be complete by December 10, supply to increase by 140 million litres per day

In Summary

'The implementing a“It will take us another six months to operationalise the use of Northern collector tunnel water'

A worker inside the Northern Water Collector Tunnel in Makomboki, Murang’a county
ALMOST READY: A worker inside the Northern Water Collector Tunnel in Makomboki, Murang’a county
Image: ALICE WAITHERA

 

Nairobi residents could be relieved of water rationing in six month's time when the Northern Water Collector Tunnel is expected to be ready.

Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui on Wednesday told the Star that the tunnel is almost done.

“We have good news. On December 10, we will have been done with the tunneling. We will be at mile one. I will there to witness this breakthrough,” Chelugui said.

The CS spoke during the Nile Basin Initiative press briefing at Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi. 

The Northern Water Collector Tunnel project entails the construction of a fully lined 11.8 km tunnel with a diameter of 3.2 metres.

The tunnel will collect 40 per cent of the floodwaters that flow into Maragua, Gikigie and Irati rivers.

Athi Water Services which is implementing the project said Murang’a experiences floods twice a year. The floods carry approximately 1.2 million cubic meters.

This water causes havoc to plants and people downstream.

Chelugui said the project will increase water supply to Nairobi by 140 million litres per day. The water will supply an additional 1.2 million city residents.

The CS said treatment works with pipelines already installed.

“It will take us another six months to operationalise the use of Northern collector tunnel water,” Chelugui said.

He lauded the project saying it will relieve Nairobi residents from water rationing.

The city's current water demand is 790,000 cubic metres per day against a capacity of 526,000 cubic meters per day that is supplied from Ndakaini Dam.

This leaves a shortage of 264,000 cubic metres per day.

The shortage is projected to worsen with the Nairobi Water Master Plan showing the city will require 1.2 billion litres of water daily by 2035.

The collectr tunnel, a World Bank-funded initiative, was launched on September 18, 2012. 

Chelugui said they have, however, experienced challenges on acquiring wayleaves.

He attributed the challenge to lack of commissioners at the National Land Commission.

Chelugui said they expect the project to proceed smoothly following the appointment of NLC commissioners.

The project is being funded by the World Bank at a cost of Sh20 billion. The construction of the tunnel is expected to cost Sh6.8 billion, the treatment plant Sh6.5 billion and Sh4.6 for the pipeline.

The tunnel starts at Ichichi in Kangema and runs through Kigumo before joining the Ndakaini Dam in Gatanga.

After completion, water from the tunnel will be piped to the Gigiri reservoir before being distributed to Upper Hill, Eastlands, the central business district, Westlands and Karen.

Under the plan, residents of Kiambu, Ruiru, Juja and parts of Thika will be allocated 50 million litres from the total water output.

 

edited by peter obuya