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Port clearance issues hinders completion of a multi-million water project

The government will fast track the port clearance of vital water connection appliances whose absence has temporarily stalled the completion of the Sh2.9 billion Mavoko Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Athi River sub-county, Machakos.
Machakos County Commissioner (CC) Mr. Fredrick Ndunga gave the assurance when he led the local County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC) on a guided tour of the Belgian-funded project.
He promised to intervene on behalf the contractors so that the vital items are released immediately to pave way for the completion of the project so that wananchi could start enjoying its services.
The CC similarly assured that the Kenya Power would be approached to ensure they immediately connect power to the various installations of the project which require energy to operate.
The County Commissioner gave the assurances while responding to issues raised by the project manager Eng. Julius Omatayo who regretted that vital installation components needed for the completion of the project have been lying at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) yards in Mombasa due to delays in clearance by both the maritime authority and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Members of the Machakos CDICC touring installations at the Sh2.9 Billion Mavoko Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Athi River. They were led by area CC Fredrick Ndunga and taken around the project by the project manager Julius Omotayo.

Eng. Omotayo who took the CDICC team round the project noted that the project which was supposed to be completed in August this year was lagging behind due to various challenges among them the delay in clearance and the failure by Kenya Power Company to connect supply to different units of the project, among them the treatment plant, and pump houses.
“The project is 97% complete but we are unable to proceed due to delays experienced at the KPA where vital gadgets are still lying, awaiting clearance” he informed the committee which also include the area Deputy County Commissioner Mr. David Juma and a Deputy Director at the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) Georgina Njoroge who is also the Committee Secretary, among other members.
Formed through a Presidential Executive Order, the committee monitors and advises on all national government projects being undertaken in the county. Among the projects inspected included the water treatment plant, the Portland dam, the KMC dam and various pump houses of the project.
The County Commissioner noted that his committee would escalate the challenges to Nairobi, so that immediate action is taken on the unnecessary delays, which he noted were denying the residents services.
The Mavoko Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Project which is being undertaken by Tanathi Water Works Development Agency, a subsidiary of Tanathi Water Services Board is contracted to Aspac International with H.P Gauff Ingenieure as the consultants.
Once complete, it will provide clean water to residents of Athi river, Daystar, Syokimau, Kyumbi and all the outlying areas of Mavoko Sub-county of Machakos County.
Among the works being undertaken include the laying of an independent line from Nairobi Water Company, the rehabilitation of Nol-Turesh line, the disilting of KMC and Portland dams.
It will see the construction of a new Mavoko water treatment works of 10,000m3/day and pumping units, construction of new pipeline works of over 70km including rehabilitation of the existing reticulation system.
Also to be constructed are two 2,500M3 water storage tanks and one 5,000M3 tank. Funded by the governments of Kenya and Belgium, the project was started in 2018 with an initial completion date of August 2020 which was later pushed to May 2021 when all the works will have been completed. Upon completion, the massive water project will be expected to provide an estimated population of half a million residents with clean water.

By Justus Keesi


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