Close

CONSTRUCTION PUT ON HOLD

State defends controversial dam in Aberdare forest

Environmentalists say it will kill Lake Naivasha.

In Summary

• Lake Naivasha is served by River Malewa.

• Fears that the lake could dry if water from River Malewa is diverted to the dam.

Water CS Sicily Kariuki, flanked by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, samples water from one of the boreholes in Naivasha.
DAM: Water CS Sicily Kariuki, flanked by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, samples water from one of the boreholes in Naivasha.
Image: George Murage
Water CS Sicily Kariuki, flanked by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, samples water from one of the boreholes in Naivasha.
DAM: Water CS Sicily Kariuki, flanked by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, samples water from one of the boreholes in Naivasha.
Image: George Murage

The government is keen to resolve the grievances over the construction of the Malewa Dam in Aberdare Forest, Nyandarua.

Already, construction of the World Bank-funded dam has been put on hold because of concerns raised by environmentalists that it will kill Lake Naivasha.

According to Water CS Sicily Kariuki, however, they are ready to engage those opposed to the dam, which is meant to provide water for an industrial park in Mai Mahiu, Gilgil and Naivasha town.

 

She said paper works on Pesi dam, also in Nyandarua, have been underway as they waited for the way forward with regard to the Malewa dam. Lake Naivasha is served by River Malewa.

“This dam will solve many problems, including the current flooding of Lake Naivasha and supply water to Naivasha town and the industrial park in Mai Mahiu,” she said.

Kariuki spoke in Naivasha after touring the ongoing drilling of boreholes for the industrial park. She said residents of Naivasha, Longonot and Mai Mahiu will benefit.

“The ministry has signed various water policies and one of them is that residents of an area where water is sourced should benefit from the product,” she said.

At the same time, she put on notice government officials who work in cahoots with illegal traders to allocate riparian land.

“We have already interdicted two senior officials of Water Resource Authority for allowing an investor to put up a structure on riparian land,” she said.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui called on the government to address the high electricity tariffs charged on water service providers, saying that many could not afford to pay their bills.

 

“Water companies are facing high electricity bills from Kenya Power and they cannot disconnect water due to the Covid-19 pandemic and thus the need to review the electricity tariffs,” he said.

Kinyanjui appealed to the government to first address the issue of the sewer system and plant around the industrial park before it becomes fully operational.

On the Malewa dam, he said the county fully backed it as it would address the issue of the high fluoride in water used in Naivasha.

“The dam will also address the issue of flooding in Lake Naivasha where currently those who had encroached on riparian land have been displaced,” he said.