Hope for Gatundu residents as Sh1.7b local water project nears completion

When former President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the Sh24 billion Karimenu II Dam in Gatundu North, Kiambu County, a Vision 2030 flagship project started in 2019. [File, Standard]

A multi-billion-shilling water project in Gatundu South, Kiambu County is almost complete.

Upon completion, it will end the perennial water scarcity in the region.

The Gatundu Water Supply Project is aimed at addressing the long-standing issue of water scarcity in the region and is expected to benefit approximately 90,000 residents in the constituency.

It is being funded by the Government of Kenya and the African Development Bank, with a budget of Sh1.75 billion. Gabriel Kagombe, the area Member of Parliament made the revelation while inspecting the project on Wednesday. 

Kagombe said the project, which is being carried out by the Athi Water Works Development Agency (AWWDA) through the Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, will be fully implemented and operational by the end of this year.

It will inject approximately 17.6 million litres of water per day into the local supply system.

The project includes the rehabilitation of Handege water supply to produce 9.6 million litres of water per day, as well as the construction of Ruabora and Ngenda water supply facilities.

Ruabora and Ngenda each receive four million litres per day. Additionally, raw and treated water main pipes will be laid as part of the project.

“If you visit areas like Kimunyu and Gathage, real estate is mushrooming every day and this shows the need to finish these projects as soon as possible, and I hope our people get an all-time flow of clean and sufficient water in their taps,” Kagombe said.

However, there have been some challenges in the project’s progress, particularly in the Ruabora area, where a compensation dispute with certain land owners has delayed the construction of the water intake at the Ruabora River.

The MP mentioned that some landowners have not been fully compensated due to succession disputes within their families.

Project managing director, Patrick Mwangi, said the land owners are owed Sh400 million, which he said will be paid once they settle their disputes.

Mwangi said the disputes have delayed the project’s completion, which should have been complete last year since its inception in 2018.

“The only bottlenecks we are facing is the compensation partly because of the land issues, and partly because we have land owners who have not completed the succession process.

“We want the government to hasten the compensation process for the acquisition of the land,” said Mwangi.