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Pressure piles on President Uhuru Kenyatta over project

By MOSES NYAMORI and Job Weru | Oct 13th 2016 | 2 min read
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (2nd L) flanked by his Kisumu Counterpart Jack Raguma (L) and Kisumu Senator Prof. Anyang Nyongo during a press conference at Upper hill. Joho has waded into the controversial Sh6.8 billion water project saga. (PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO/ STANDARD)

The Mombasa county governor has waded into the controversial Sh6.8 billion water project saga.

Governor Hassan Joho now says the project will interfere with livelihoods of 12 million people along the Tana River delta.

“This is not just about Murang’a. This is about the entire Tana River basin, which comprises over 138,000 square kilometres and serves over 12 million people across 20 counties.” he said.

He said Garissa, Tana River and parts of Kilifi depend on the Tana.

“For us downstream, whoever touches the Tana touches our lives directly and becomes our enemy. The President has a chance to prove that he cares about our people and their lives by stopping this project,” he said.

He warned that the region would protest any efforts to continue with the project despite until all the conservation concerns are addressed.

“In the interests of all the communities along the Tana Basin, President Kenyatta must stop the Northern Collector Tunnel,” he said.

He maintained that the World Bank-funded project must be stopped immediately as it was going to affect more than 12 million Kenyans living along Tana River Delta.

Chronic shortage

ODM leader Raila Odinga on Monday warned against the construction of the Northern Water Collector Tunnel designed to address chronic water shortage in Nairobi stating that it would turn Murang’a, Ukambani, Garissa, Tana River and other parts of the Coast into a desert in five years.
And the County Assembly of Murang’a yesterday refuted claims by Raila that the assembly members including the speaker were opposed to the now controversial Northern Water Collector Tunnel.

Instead, the assembly confirmed the public was consulted and the assembly approved the project last year.

Assembly Speaker Nduati Kariuki said MCAs were initially opposed to the project, and invited technocrats from Tana and Athi Water Services Board and implementers of the project who shed light on how it would be undertaken.

In a statement, Kariuki further noted he personally invited all players, who included the County government of Murang’a, leaders and the general public, to agree on whether the project was good for the county.

“The first meeting took place on January last year and it recommended that the governor form a technical committee to look into the pros and cons of the project in light of public interest,” he said.

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