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Tunnel to be operational starting June 2020

The  Excavation of an 11.7 -kilometre Northern Water Collector  Tunnel  is complete as the project is expected to be commissioned in June 2020.

The  Construction  of  the tunnel being implemented by the Athi Water Services Board in Murang’a County is currently at 80 percent complete.

The project funded by World Bank among other development partners at a tune about than Sh. 20 billion is earmarked to add water volume at Ndakaini Dam, the major source of water for Nairobi City County and its environs.

An  Engineer  with the Athi Water Services Board, Alphaxard Kitheku on Friday told Murang’a County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) that the contractor is currently working to complete lining of the tunnel after completion of excavation works.

The  tunnel is designed to draw  water from three rivers within Murang’a County namely, Irati, Maragua and Gikigie.

Kitheku said construction of two intake weirs at Maragua and Irati are ongoing whereas the third intake at river Gikigie will commence early next year.

“Construction of Irati River intake is at 98 percent complete and Maragua River intake weir is at 20 percent,” said the Engineer.

The project  was expected to be complete in December 2019 but due to challenges, the construction works have delayed.

He  further noted that construction of raw and treated water transmission pipelines from Ndakaini Dam to Kirogo water treatment plant and to Nairobi is ongoing.

The Engineer observed that 15.5 kilometre out of the total 54 kilometre of pipes have been laid.

“The project aims at conveying the raw water from Ndakaini to Kirogo Water Treatment Plant and treated water from Kirogo to Gigiri reservoirs in Nairobi,” explained Kitheku.

He further noted that laying of the pipes, especially area between Ndakaini Dam and Kirogo Water Treatment Plant has faced obstacles as some families objected the compensation given.

“A family moved to court to block the construction works and the matter is still pending in court although we are still proceeding with the works as no injunction was given to halt the works,” added the Engineer.

Kitheku  said  Athi Water Services Board is employing necessary intervention to see that the project is completed and operationalized by mid next year.

The  Tunnel is expected to increase water volume at Ndakaini Dam by 140, 000 cubic meters on daily basis.

By  Bernard Munyao

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