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November 17, 2018

Mt Kenya’s rivers are drying up, CS orders halt to tapping water

Nyeri Water executive Fredrick Kinyua, Water CS Simon Chelugui and PS Joseph Irungu at Mt Kenya forest yesterday /EUTYCAS MUCHIRI
Nyeri Water executive Fredrick Kinyua, Water CS Simon Chelugui and PS Joseph Irungu at Mt Kenya forest yesterday /EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

All legal and illegal water abstractions in Mt Kenya have been ordered suspended, pending an audit, to save water.
Water CS Simon Chelugui yesterday ordered the Water Resources Management Authority to suspend the abstraction. The audit will establish amount of water in the rivers.
Chelugui visited Mt Kenya forest in Nyeri and toured the mountain following complaints that Rivers Sagana, Thegu and several others are drying up. “It was just the other day we had heavy rains and today the rivers are dry,” the CS said.
Anyone wishing to abstract water must obtain a permit from Warma. “But I suspect some of the fellows we have entrusted with this responsibility have not carried out enough due diligence.”
Chelugui added, “We have seen farms along or within the forest that illegally divert rivers. We have just seen a complete diversion of River Sagana inside the forest by people who live, operate or are expected to guard the forest.”
The audit will determine the amount of water that can be abstracted and ensure people downstream get water. Sagana State Lodge is among areas affected by abstractions at River Sagana.
The CS said numerous abstractions indicate there are malpractices either by officers in his ministry or farmers. “It is a requirement that anybody wishing to abstract water from any water body must obtain a permit from Warma.”
The diversion was discovered at Kabaru Forest in Kieni East subcounty. There are 17 illegal abstractions along Sagana, bringing the total of legal and illegal abstractions from the river to 75, while there are 45 intakes on Thegu River.
The intakes are disproportionate to the river flow. The CS was with PS Joseph Irungu, Tana Water Service Board CEO Moses Naivasha, Nyeri Water executive Fredrick Kinyua, Warma officials and Water Resource Users Association members.

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