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Sh21 billion project to boost water supply in Thika, Githunguri and Ithanga

 President William Ruto, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Gatanga MP Wakili Edward Muriu commission the Ithanga Water Supply Project in Gatanga constituency, Muranga County. [PCS]

The government has announced plans to implement the Sh21 billion Thika and Githunguri Water and Sanitation Project in Kiambu County.

The project to be completed in the next three years, is expected to increase water supply for 1.2 million people in Thika and Githunguri towns and the semi-arid Ithanga area of the neighbouring Murang'a County.

Financed by the Government of Kenya and Danida Sustainable Infrastructure Finance (DSIF), the project is being implemented by the Athi Water Works Development Agency (AWWDA).

It is expected to provide safe, reliable and affordable water and sanitation services to the residents of Thika and Githunguri Township in Kiambu County. 

Speaking during a consultative meeting by leaders and stakeholders in Thika, Athi Water acting chief executive Joseph Kamau said project will improve the living standards of the people in the target area by ensuring the provision of affordable access to safe Water and Sanitation Services.

“Thika water and sanitation project is now in the implementation stage. We are now at the financing closure stage and after its implementation, we expect the contractor to commence the work around February 2025 for an implementation period of about 30 months so that it can be ready for operation and commissioning in mid-2027,” Kamau said.

The Municipality’s water service provider, Thika Water and Sewerage Company (Thiwasco)  has been struggling to meet the growing demand for the vital commodity.

About 75,000 cubic meters of water is required against the water company’s production capacity of 39,000. 

Thika water treatment works were established in the 1950’s and the last production expansion systems were carried out in 1991 when the town’s population was relatively low.

Consequently, Githunguri town will benefit from a water intake to be constructed at the Mukuyu and Ruiru rivers providing the town with an additional 10,000 cubic meters.

Area MP Alice Ng'ang'a said the water project is a welcome relief for the town's rapidly growing population, which has been feeling the pinch of water shortages.

“We started this journey way back in 2018 after realizing the treatment works that we currently have is overwhelmed by the growing population. We trust that when the project is complete it will last until 2046 with a continuous supply of water, “Ms Ng’ang’a said.

The legislator said the biggest beneficiaries will be schools, colleges and health institutions, many of which have been without water.

Ithanga MCA Alex Makau said the project will be a game changer to the over 100, 000 residents of the Ithanga sub-county who rely on rivers most of which are seasonal.

Thika Business Community Chairman Alfred Wanyoike said the project will breathe a new lease of life into businesses and industrial growth as the town gears to attain city status.

“Thika is set to become the next industrial city and without enough water, there is no industries that can run. We welcome the move and urge and thank both the Danish and Kenyan governments for the project,” Wanyoike said.

The project will be implemented for five years in four phases.

It will include the construction of a 40-meter-high dam across the Thika River to produce 70,000m3/day of additional water.

The project will also involve the construction and, rehabilitation of water storage tanks and the laying of about 60- 60-kilometre water transmission and distribution pipelines including consumer last-mile connections.

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