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County gov’t initiates reconstruction of dam

Residents in Yatta Sub County are delighted as the County Government embarks on reconstructing Mekilingi dam.

Speaking at Mekilingi dam during the launch of its reconstruction, Machakos County Deputy Governor Mr. Francis Mwangangi said the dam, like it did in the past, will help reduce food insecurity.

“Drying up of this dam has largely affected food security in this area. Mekilingi dam historically supplied water in Mekilingi, Kyua and other neighboring sub locations in Katangi ward,” said Mwangangi.

He said that the county government’s water programme has already completed 16 dams and this would bring the total to 17, with more planned to ensure adequate water in every village.

He also stated that they will add more excavators and lorries from both the county government and the National Youth Service (NYS) to expedite mud excavation before the rain begins, as the dam is entirely clogged.

The Deputy Governor said that the project is part of the Rapid Result Initiative (RRI) to be accomplished within their first 100 days in office.

“Right now, we are at 30 per cent in terms of water supply, our main aim is to double that figure to around 60 or 70 per cent. We will also in future fence the dam to prevent garbage from filling the dam and also ensure that the water coming in this dam is clean and safe,” said Mwangangi.

The Member of County Assembly (MCA) for Katangi ward Felix Ngui, who was also present, commended the county administration for the initiative and stated that it will significantly boost the local economy.

“With this dam, we don’t need a borehole, since it can supply water to a number of people in Mekilingi, Kyua and their neighboring wards which can be used in agriculture and other domestic uses,” said Ngui.

Ngui stated that the dam was built in 1983 and supplied water to 26 water kiosks, which are now closed due to the dam’s collapse.

He further urged the Governor through the county assembly of Machakos to allocate more funds to water projects since the county has low rains which are unable to sustain agriculture.

Machakos Water Chief Officer Eng. Stephen Ndwiki who is in charge of the project said that they are planning to excavate the silt from the dam to a volume of 50,000m³.

“The launch of this project will benefit over 3000 people in Katangi ward, the dam will provide water for domestic and irrigation purposes,” said Ndwiki.

Ndwiki also stated that the project will be done in two phases whereby phase one will involve clearing the muck while phase two which will involve fencing the dam, making water treatment plan, installing tanks, pumps and piping.

Ndwiki urged the residents to cooperate, revealing that the project will cost about Sh3million and take about a month to complete phase one of the dam.

By Caroline Mutheu

 

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