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Public water reservoir encroachers warned

Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has ordered people who have encroached on land set aside for public dams and water reservoirs to move out.

Speaking in Nyandarua County, during a ground breaking ceremony of desilting exercise at the Kanyiriri Water Dam, she expressed fears that encroachment on water catchment areas hindered efforts to implement projects in the area.

Water and sanitation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki operates an excavator during the ground breaking ceremony of desilting Kanyiriri Dam. Photo by Antony Mwangi

“We have been experiencing climate change because of people encroaching on water reservoirs and public dams, thus harboring our efforts to give water to our people.

“For example Lake Ol Bolosat has been encroached and some people have even built houses close to the lake. This has even resulted in human animal conflict. We need to be responsible on environment matters,” she said

The CS said that she has been talking to residents of Kanyiriri area and she noted that the water that they can easily access is the water that can be gotten as a result of desilting the dam.

According to the CS the desilting project will be complete in two months’ time. The national government has allocated 20 million for the project and is set to benefit over 55 households in the first phase.

“There is a possibility that if the encroachers move out and give more space, the water can serve more households.

“We shall then empower and train them on agribusiness after getting water so that they will be able to practice horticultural farming. We are estimating that each farmer shall be making at least Sh 250,000 per acre per year,” said CS Kariuki.

She also said that she shall work with the local administration and the residents so that the project can be of benefit to all.

She asked residents to join hands with the government to ensure the project succeeds and benefits the locals who have been going for a long distance to fetch water.

Nyandarua Central Deputy Commissioner, George Matundura, said the government was committed to ensure that the construction works were undertaken to the required standards and they were completed on time.

By Antony Mwangi

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