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Sh11m water reservoir to serve as sewerage plant

By Boniface Gikandi | August 10th 2020

A water scheme that stalled 10 years ago will now be used as a sewerage treatment plant for Maragua and Saba Saba townships in Murang’a South Sub-county.

Saba Saba Water Supply Scheme was initially meant to provide clean water for residents.

This was after local leaders agreed during a public participation meeting to conversion of the property, which will host a Decentralised Treatment Facility (DTF) funded by the Water Sector Trust Fund at a cost of Sh11 million, where waste from pit latrines will be channeled for treatment.

The water project stalled 10 years ago due to high electricity charges for pumping water from the plot surrendered in 1973 for public utility by the family of Geoffrey Wainaina.

Wainaina’s family was among residents who opposed the change of user during the meeting.

Under the programme, 200 modern toilets will be constructed in Saba Saba and Maragua at a cost of Sh6.5 million through financing by the Water Sector Trust Fund.

During the meeting convened by Murang’a South Water and Sanitation Company (Muswaco) at Kenol market, Maragua MP Mary Wamaua opposed the sanitation project on grounds that it is too close to Saba Saba river.

Wamaua argued that the project would drain the waste into the river, which is the only source of water for residents in Kamahuha and Kambiti locations downstream.

“It is not urgent to establish such a facility as there is a sewerage plant in Murang’a town that is not fully utilised,” said the MP.

She added that the construction of waste chambers kicked off before approval of National Environment Management Authority (Nema).

But Muwasco Managing Director Mary Nyaga said the project was environmental friendly and was endorsed by the World Health Organisation.

Nyaga added that analysis on water in the river done by the Water Resource Authority had confirmed it was polluted and not fit for human consumption.

“The water from the facility will be treated to the internationally recommended standards and what will drain out will be cleaner than what is presently flowing in the river,” she said. 

The MD explained that the land was among the assets that the company inherited from the Ministry of Water when Muswasco took control of the sector.

She said Athi Water Works Development Agency allocated Sh1.2 billion for the Kenol-Kabati sewerage plant project.

MCAs Amos Murigi (Kimorori), Karanja Kabera (Kamahuha), Mburu wa Muthoni (Kagundu) and Stanley Mburu (Makuyu) supported the project.

Murang’a Nema Director Patricia Wambua and Murang’a Lands CEC Sarah Masaki said all procedures on waste management should be adhered to before the construction commences.

Water Sector Trust Fund officials Stella Warue and Annie Obaya said the DTF programme has been initiated in 31 counties including Ol Kalau in Nanyadarua, Nakuru, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos and Embu.

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