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Dispute over a shared water intake

A bitter dispute has arisen between 33 families who were resettled at Ndomba village in 2015 and Kutus East Water supply project over a shared intake.

The dispute has seen two family members arrested for interfering with the water intake in an effort to share the water equitably without the consent of the project owners.

Those arrested for the alleged interference with the intake were Moses Mithamo and Michael Mathenge after the settler failed to get any water.

The project owners are demanding that the intake be expanded to provide two independent intake chambers to avoid any future conflict.

The matter is still pending at Kianyaga Police Station while the two suspects have since been released on bond pending further consultations.

The intake earlier designed to cater for the water project owners has been altered to have two chambers supplying the commodity to both the resettled families and the project owners but the volume of Kiringa River has considerably gone down.

The National Irrigation Board (NIB), which resettled the families from their homes around Rukenya village to give way for the construction of the Thiba mega dam, was responsible for the provision of water at Ndomba village.

The dam project resettlement Officer Dan Adino has since acknowledged the conflict could escalate if not addressed urgently.

“In order to avert further conflict between the families we settled at the village in 2015, we have taken over the intake site with the aim of undertaking correctional construction to restore the design to its original status,” Adino said in a memo addressed to both parties dated August 1.

At the village the two storage tanks that supply irrigation water as well as that for domestic use are empty putting the families to more suffering.

The resettlement agreement was meant to see the families leading more comfortable lives than what they had at Rukenya, “but this is worse than where we came from,” according to Mathenge.

Contacted, Adino said the problem was being addressed and urged the concerned parties to tolerate each other for the time being.

By Irungu Mwangi

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