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Locals call for desilting of colonial-era dam

Residents of Konza,Tulila and Muangoni areas in Ndithini sub location, Mwala sub county have appealed to Machakos county government to desilt the Konza dam which they claim is on the brink of drying up.

The residents who have been depending on the water pan built in 1948 by the British colonial government lamented that  years of neglect has led to accumulation of tonnes of sludge in the crucial dam that supplies water to the area.

Speaking  to  the  press on Saturday, the area Community Development Chairman, Michael Munyao Ndivo asked Machakos County Water Department to desilt the dam soon before it becomes extinct.

“We are calling upon the County government through the Water Department to help in dredging work of this dam before it gets completely clogged up. Since it was constructed in 1948 by the colonial government no major renovation works have been carried out leading to accumulation of tons of silt which has interfered with its water retention capacity,” he said.

The dam which was meant to serve the counties of Machakos and Makunei can serve at least 500,000 people when full but at present the water level has declined sharply due to the stated reasons.

Water from the dam was meant to help boost agricultural activities in the area through irrigation and for domestic consumption and animals.

Ndivo also pleaded with Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua to visit the dam and oversee the extent of neglect so that he can authorize its rehabilitation.

“We are appealing to our Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua to visit this dam and see how serious the situation is,” We would be glad to see him directing work for the reconstruction of the dam to kick off soon and ensure its continued presence becomes a blessing in the improvement of the lives of the residents,” he added.

In  the 2019/20 Financial Year, the county government of Machakos plans to spend, Sh.235.5 million in the construction of additional water reservoirs and improvement of agriculture.

In addition, the county has allocated Sh.150 million for the construction of one mega dam, 60 water pans and four treatment works to help deal with the perennial problem of water for residents.

By  Samuel  Maina

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