Construction of the Sh24 billion Kariminu 11 dam in Gatundu North, Kiambu County which started in August is five per cent done, with the Government steadfast to complete it by 2022.
Interior and National Government Coordination Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i said they were impressed with the speed at which the project took off, and were optimistic that it would be completed in time.
Speaking when he visited the site Friday, Matiang’i said President Uhuru Kenyatta will lay a stone in the coming weeks to officially commence works.
He said the contractor is under instruction to ensure works are done every day, to make sure the project, meant to address perennial water shortage in Nairobi and Kiambu Counties is completed.
“Through the Presidential Delivery Units, we shall ensure all National projects are fast-tracked and completed in time. Contractors who can’t manage, will be expelled from projects,” he said.
His water counterpart who accompanied him Simon Chelugui said Sh.2billion had been set aside in 2019/2020’s budget to finalize phase 11 compensation to pave way for works to start downstream.
Already Sh1.28billion had been released to compensate for some 178 acres, in phase 1. About 5,000 families had been earmarked for compensation in the two phases.
“We already have 1 billion, and will work hard to find the other 1.2 billion to complete phase 11compensation this year to pave way for works downstream. Once you receive your money, move fast to look for some other piece of land and allow us to begin work,” said Chelugui.
He said the Ministry had initiated water and Sanitation projects of over Sh10billion in Kiambu County, citing the Kikuyu and Limuru Water and Sewerage connections.
On compensation, Dr. Matiang’i called on families to resolve land succession disputes fast to pave way for speedy compensation.
He said the disputes slowed down compensation, leading to slow process of implementing projects.
The officials instructed the contractor to make sure locals get a majority share of jobs at the site.
The dam is set to benefit close to 850,000 residents in the two counties. It is funded by the government and the China Exim Bank and implemented through a joint venture between International Holding Corporation
(AVIC) and Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute.
It will be built on 600-acre piece of land and upon completion will have a height of 59 metres with 26.5 million cubic metres storage capacity.
It will produce 70,000 cubic metres of clean water per day, with 80 per cent supplied to Kiambu constituencies of Thika, Ruiru and Juja, while the remaining 20 per cent to Nairobi.
By Muoki Charles