Only 2 families have relocated graves of their loved ones in readiness for the construction of Karimenu dam whose construction has begun in Gatundu North in Kiambu County.
Eng. Emily Kilongi in her report to Kiambu Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) on Saturday said work on the mega dam had begun and that it would not be hampered by any further delay.
The National Irrigation Board Engineer said this was a drop in the ocean, considering that 27 families had been tasked to relocate the graves so as to pave way for the construction of the Sh.23, 918,461 billion dam.
At least 246 families will be affected by the construction of the dam but have been compensated and most of them have bought land elsewhere and are currently moving out. Each family was paid Sh.90, 000 per grave, she told the committee.
The mega project is expected to consume 670 acres of land in Gituamba, Kanyoni, Kiriko and Buchana sub-locations of Gatundu North.
On completion, it will serve at least more than 1,000 families drawn from Kiambu and Nairobi counties who have previously suffered from rationing of the precious commodity.
During the construction, local people especially young people have started smiling all the way to the bank as they have been engaged in the excavation and preparation work of the project, which is envisaged that it will change the living standards of the people from the region as most of them will provide the required manpower both skilled and unskilled.
In the event that the affected families fail to relocate the said graves, Eng. Kilongi clarified that the remains shall be removed and buried in a mass grave at an appropriate location.
The project is expected to take 36 months after the handing over of the site was done on April 2nd this year. The signing of Karimenu 11 water supply project was done in May 2017 after which the process to negotiate with the community who lived on the land earmarked for the project begun.
It experienced some delay following the end of term for the commissioners at the National Land Commission (NLC) as processing of compensation was disrupted temporarily. The dam measures 59 meters high with 26.5 cubic meters and is expected to produce 70,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day.
The Kiambu County Commissioner (CC), Wilson Wanyanga commended the families for their co-operation in moving out so as to allow the construction of the dam, noting there would be adequate provision of water for domestic consumption and even irrigation for food security.
Wanyanga said the committee shall pay a site visit to the dam on Tuesday 24th after touring roads constructed by KeRRA in Gatundu North.
By Lydia Shiloya