A multi-billion shilling water project in Mt Kenya Forest that was initially meant to benefit over 30,000 Mathira residents in Nyeri County will be upgraded to serve more people.
Water Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the project upgrade estimated at Sh1.2 billion will benefit residents of neighbouring Kieni constituency.
Speaking on Friday during a visit to the site, the CS said the Sagana river regeneration project will be redesigned afresh to accommodate Kieni Constituency.
The CS was accompanied by Kieni MP Kanini Kega. Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua skipped the event.
“This project is among those permitted by President Uhuru Kenyatta to supply water to Mathira and Kieni sub-counties. It was started six months ago but stalled over a dispute between Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and ministry officials over the conservation aspect of it,” the CS said.
The decision to restructure the project, she said, was informed by multiple petitions her ministry had received from Kieni residents calling for shared resources between the two neighbouring constituencies.
The CS instructed CEO of Tana Water Service Board Moses Naivasha to ensure the work of redesigning the project commences immediately. “We are working with KFS on a conservation plan that will see us plant trees in over 60 acres of land to compensate for what will be destroyed during construction of the dam,” she said.
In 2015, the government launched the Mathira water project to benefit residents of Mutathi-ini, Thaiti, Ngandu Kiria and Mbogo-ini.
But residents in Tetu sabotaged the project, noting they were not beneficiaries yet it was drawing water from their area.