• The project is compensation for the water drawn from local rivers and supplied to Nairobi.
• Residents had threatened to oppose the Sh20 billion Northern Collector Tunnel.
Residents of Gatanga subcounty of Murang’a will benefit from a Sh300 million water project, with the commodity sourced from Ndakaini Dam.
Water PS Joseph Wairagu said the project is compensation for residents for the water drawn from local rivers and supplied to Nairobi county and its environs.
Ndakaini Dam has a volume of 70 million cubic metres and supplies about 82 per cent of the water consumed in Nairobi.
The government is also constructing the Sh20 billion Northern Collector Tunnel that will channel 140,000 cubic metres of water into Ndakaini Dam to boost supply to Nairobi.
The 11.7-kilometre tunnel is about 80 per cent complete and is expected to be finalised in June next year, drawing water from Gikigie, Irati and Maragua rivers.
When it started, locals led by their MP Nduati Ngugi threatened to oppose its implementation if the area did not get a share of the water.
They decried the low water coverage in the subcounty despite hosting one of the biggest dams in the country.
The residents' request has now been approved after the government has allocated funds to channel water from the Ndakaini Dam into their homes.
Wairagu said the contractor is on site at Kigoro area where a treatment plant is being constructed.
“This project will provide water to residents as the rest goes to Nairobi. This is a promise that President [Uhuru Kenyatta] gave to the people of Gatanga and Murang’a when he was seeking votes in 2017,” he said.
Wairagu spoke at Mithanduku-ini on Saturday where he commissioned a new borehole that will connect over 2,000 homesteads with water.
The PS said his department has sunk 30 boreholes in the county (nine in Gatanga) to increase water coverage.
He said the boreholes are all operational and help to connect thousands of homes that do not yet have tap water.
The boreholes are sunk by a team of engineers after conducting geological surveys to ensure they strike a sufficient stream of water, he noted.
“The boreholes are part of a master plan that has been developed with the funding of the World Bank to increase water coverage in Murang’a from the current 63 per cent to 80 per cent,” the PS said.
The PS further noted that the government is implementing water projects worth Sh10 billion across the county.
He cited the Sh900 million Maragua Dam that will connect residents of Maragua, Maragua Ridge, Saba Saba, Kamahuha and Kambiti with water. The contractor is on site.
“We are also implementing irrigation projects worth Sh1.5 billion including, Mirichu Murika, Nginda, Nyanjigi and others, and they are all ongoing,” Wairagu said.
The Makutano-Kenol water and sewerage project will start in September and has already been allocated funds.
The area MP praised the government for the development projects implemented which he said by far surpasses those of the previous regimes.
He said Rwegetha water project which is ongoing will serve 30,000 homes and asked for pipes to help connect families with the water.
Nduati also said that numerous projects including Kirwara Kigio, Jogoo Kimakia, Mau Mau roads and the inter-county Gatura Njabi-ini road that will cost Sh3 billion are all ongoing.
MPs Peter Kimari (Mathioya) and Gichuki Mugambi (Othaya) supported the Jubilee party’s decision to change its representation in Parliament.
They said the President needs people who support and not fight him.
(edited by o. owino)