Gatanga MP Joseph Nduati has asked the Athi Water Services Board to honour a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to connect residents with Ndakaini water.
Uhuru pledged to ensure the government distributes water that will be harnessed though the Northern Collector tunnel to Gatanga residents before it is channelled to Nairobi. He added that the board has disregarded the directive and failed to extend connection pipes.
dry taps in homes
The contractor working on the tunnel has completed the construction of a treatment plant and pipes are being installed to have the water channelled to Nairobi.
Nduati said residents will not allow their water to be channelled to Nairobi before it is first connected to local homes.
“We will oppose it until we see our homes connected with water. It is unfair for our people to continue suffering for lack of domestic water while our water is taken to Nairobi,” Nduati said.
The 11.8km tunnel construction started in 2015. It has provoked strong emotions among residents, who believe the government is taking their water while leaving them to face an acute shortage.
The Sh6.4 billion tunnel is meant to collect floodwater from the rivers Irati, Mathioya and Githigie. Residents have expressed fears that it may cause the rivers to dry up in a few years.
25 per cent benefit
Nduati said his constituents should have access to affordable water, being the host of the biggest dam in the country.
“We don’t understand why we do not have water in our homes and where it is available, it is more expensive than in other counties, yet we have so many rivers and a major dam,” he said.
The MP supported Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s bid to have water tariffs lowered in the county, saying it will help residents access the water.
Wairia wants the county to get 25 per cent of all proceeds from water drawn from the county, saying the resource is as precious to Murang’a as oil is to Turkana county.
“There is a bill in the Senate to ensure 25 per cent of benefits realised from natural resources are retained within the local communities,” he said. The county government has established one water company to oversee services.