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State Rules Out Extension of  Thimba Dam Contract

The government will not extend the contract period for the ongoing construction of the Thiba mega dam, whose completion is expected on November 21, 2021.

Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki(right), being taken through a dummy of the Thiba mega dam by senior officials of the Straberg construction company yesterday .

Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki told Strasberg Company which has been on site since November 2018 to ensure all the lost time was recovered and deliver the project on schedule.

“This being one of Jubilee’s flagship projects which have a time frame must be completed and handed over to the government as agreed when you got awarded this job,” the official told the contractor.

Added Kariuki, “you must move with speed and if need be increase the working shifts to three on 24-hour basis to meet the deadline.  You must complete the project as scheduled without expecting any extension.”

Briefing the media at the dam site located at Rukenya village in Kabare Ward, Kariuki said the government was committed to ensuring the contractor did not experience any hurdles, especially financial, along the way.

CS told the contractor to either pulled up his socks or risked suffering a hefty penalty which could mean termination of the entire contract with costs to him for the breach.

A section of the ongoing construction of the Thiba mega dam which is at 40 per cent to completion.

Kariuki made the media briefing after touring the facility for the second time in a week yesterday where she decried a shortage of manpower and excavation machinery required in such a project worth Sh 20 billion.

The project was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in November 2018 and was meant to be completed in three years’ time.

But last year the contractor slowed down the works after the government failed to remit monthly dues for over six months which contributed to the project to lag behind schedule.

Even after being asked by the media if the contractor was to be compensated over the lost time, Kariuki was categorical no extension of the delivery period would be entertained.

The CS was accompanied by among others the National Irrigation Agency (NIA), Director General Gitonga Mugambi whose parastatal is the client for the project and other senior ministry officials.

Kariuki instructed the Kirinyaga County Commissioner Jim Njoka to maintain regular monitoring of the construction progress of the project and keep her office updated.

By Irungu Mwangi

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