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A company seeks approval to construct a private dam in Murang’a

A private company is planning to put up a dam along river Mathioya in Murang’a with an aim to boost supply for domestic and irrigation water in the County.

Aqua Trench Designs and Works Company have applied to Murang’a government to get approval to do feasibility study along the river in preparation of construction of a mega dam.

The company’s chief executive officer, James Macharia has said the feasibility study will also involve accessing water needs among residents of Murang’a and neighbouring counties.

Speaking to KNA on Tuesday, Macharia said the river has good topography which can be used to construct a dam to benefit locals living in lower parts of the county.

Macharia said his company also intends to carry out aerial and topographic surveys of the proposed dam site and undertake sedimentation studies on the catchment areas.

“We want to establish social economic impact of the dam and also come up with a better strategy on how the water from the reservoir will be channeled for domestic and irrigation purposes,” he added.

The dam is proposed to be established in the gorge through which the river runs at Gaturi area in Kiharu constituency which is semi-arid and has high levels of poverty.

The project stands to revolutionize water coverage in the county that is currently at about 37 percent with many residents being forced to fetch water from boreholes among other sources.

Macharia observed that if approved, the dam will mitigate water shortage experienced by scores of families living at lower parts of the county.

The dam dubbed Great Murang’a Gorge Dam will get water from the river and run off from sloppy terrains neighbouring the site where the dam is proposed to be constructed.

The idea to put up a private dam comes at the time when the government is working to build a mega dam in parts of Kigumo, so as to supply water in expansive Maragua area which lacks constant supply of the basic commodity.

Two years ago, Athi Water Services Board advertised for consultancy services to carry out feasibility study of a Public-Private-Partnership on the design, construction, maintenance and financing of the dam.

The board also advertised for a consultant to develop an integrated water master plan for Murang’a County.

The board indicated that the objective of the consultancy services that were to be carried out over a period of 25 weeks was to do a presentation on the possibility of the implementation of the dam as a multi-purpose dam.

Murang’a County also hosts Ndakaini dam at Gatanga which is main source of water supplied in Nairobi and its environs.

By Bernard Munyao

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