INFRASTRUCTURE

Uhuru: Thwake Dam construction will be complete by June next year

Uhuru ordered Nema to immediately commence the clean-up of the Nairobi River.

In Summary

•  Uhuru ordered Nema to immediately commence the clean-up of the Nairobi river and other rivers upstream to ensure the water that will be fed into the dam will be safe for human consumption.

• This comes days after Auditor General Nancy Gathungu raised concerns about the safety of the water that will be fed into the dam.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the inspection of the Thwake Dam in Makueni on June 9, 2021.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the inspection of the Thwake Dam in Makueni on June 9, 2021.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured Kenyans that the construction of the multi-billion Thwake multipurpose dam will be completed in June next year.

Speaking during the inspection of the project on Makueni on Friday, Uhuru ordered Nema to immediately commence the clean-up of the Nairobi river and other rivers upstream to ensure the water that will be fed into the dam will be safe for human consumption

"We are going to ensure that our environment is protected to ensure that there is no pollution happening upstream. It is a right of every Kenyan to get clean water," he said.

This comes days after Auditor General Nancy Gathungu raised concerns about the safety of the water that will be fed into the dam.

In her audit report, Kathungu said that the dam would be fed by water from Athi River whose main tributary is the heavily polluted Nairobi River.

But speaking at the site in Makueni, Uhuru assured that his administration will do all it can, including expanding the sewerage system in the capital, to ensure those downstream get clean water.

The President said that Thwake will offer relief to the residents of Makueni and Machakos who have suffered for years due to lack of water.

He said water from the dam will be piped to rural homes, Konza City and other areas within the region

Uhuru told off those who have been criticizing his administration's heavy investment in infrastructure.

He said infrastructure unlocks job opportunities for the population, besides other immense economic benefits.

Among those accompanying the President are ODM leader Raila Odinga, his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka, governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Kitui's Charity Ngilu.

A number of Cabinet Secretaries and top government officials hailing from the region were also present.

Only Uhuru, Kalonzo and Kibwana spoke at the event. 

Kalonzo had invited Raila to speak but the former PM decided to give that opportunity to the host governor.

Kalonzo said the project will tremendously benefit the residents.

He, however, said the pollution of the rivers upstream is a major concern and urged the President to address it.

"The big concern is about pollution of Athi River. This is the biggest challenge. But we want to assure the country that this is a serious project that will transform the lives of the people and improve the environment," he said.