A tussle over acquisition of 3.8 hectares for the construction of a water treatment facility has delayed the implementation of a Sh1.2 billion water project in Kirinyaga County.
Consequently, Kirinyaga County commissioner Jim Njoka has formed an interim committee to unlock the stalemate between Nyayo tea zones and the Tana Water Services Board who are the implementers of the project.
In a meeting held in Kerugoya town, Njoka said the project implementation should proceed as the land compensation issue is sorted out.
He said there has been unending dialogue between the TWSB and Nyayo tea zones surrounding the acquisition of the 9 acres at Muratiri where the Muratiri water treatment works will be built.
“Hydraulics carried on the identified land has confirmed that there is no better land in the zone suited for the construction of the water treatment works,” Njoka said
Nyayo tea zones management has been resisting to cede the big chunk of land claiming it would affect the future plans of the factory and would also affect an ongoing project under the Big Four Agenda, which is at an advanced stage at Gatitu tea factory
Tana Water Services Board has also declared that the valuation of Sh86 million demanded by Nyayo tea zone on the land was too high compared to other areas they have compensated in the region.
The county commissioner said Kerugoya and Kutus water supply and Sanitation is a major project in Kirinyaga County and is dictated by demand to serve the county which has not had a sewerage system for more than 20 years.
He said once completed, the project will provide water to more than half the population of the county.
‘“The Sh2 billion project work progress stands at 0.15 and there is therefore need to hasten the solving of the challenges that may further delay the implementation of the project,” Njoka said.
The County Commissioner said the project was running behind schedule with the commencement date being 1st, November 2018 and the completion date 30th April 2020.
The delay, he said, forced the contractor, Nanchang Municipal Engineering Development Group Co. Ltd to seek an extension of the time which he was given.
The ongoing works are the construction of Kiringa water main, Thiba raw water main, Kianjogu/Githioro tank and Kiringa weir where river diversion works are at 50 percent completion.
The Managing director of Nyayo tea zones through the regional representative Mr James Mwongela said they were committed to give out the land once compensation of Sh86 million is paid.
Mwongela said the money will help the corporation in expanding and planting more tea bushes in their zones, so as not to affect their income streams.
By Irungu Mwangi