Land acquisition delays threaten completion of water projects in Gatundu- CS Sicily Kariuki
Delay in acquisition of land where various water and sanitation projects are being put up by the government in Gatundu South, Kiambu County may derail their completion.
Cabinet Secretary for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Sicily Kariuki decried that National Lands Commission (NLC) is yet to acquire all the required land for the various projects which are expected to increase access to water supply and improve sanitation through construction of waste water disposal systems in various villages of the expansive constituency.
“We have the requisite resources which are with NLC. I urge them to fast-track the process of acquiring the required land to enable the contractors to move quicker and without disruptions,” she said.
Among the projects that continues to experience delays is the Sh 1.75 billion Gatundu Water Supply and Sewerage Project under the Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme and which is funded by the national government and the African Development Bank (ADB).
The project which is being implemented by Athi Water Works Development Agency involves rehabilitation of Handege water supply to produce 9.6 million litres of water per day, construction of Ruabora and Ngenda water supply each producing 4 million litres per day and laying of raw and treated water mains.
Addressing journalists after an inspection tour, the CS further regretted massive destruction of the water distribution pipeline by contractors who are building the Sh 30 billion Mau Mau Road that crisscrosses the area.
According to her, about 280 kilometers of water distribution pipelines which have been destroyed by contractors implementing road works have so far been replaced at a cost of Sh 470 million.
The destruction, she said, has resulted in acute water scarcity leaving hundreds of locals where the pipeline passes crying out for help.
“The water and road construction projects are both important and I have urged my principal secretary and that of the road to visit this area and address the challenge immediately so that even going forward we may minimize these damages,” she said.
She revealed that an additional Sh 390 million is required to complete the remaining 190 kilometers of water distribution network.
In the projects that will benefit over 90,000 people, CS Kariuki instructed the various contractors to fast-track construction works by working day and night to ensure that the projects are completed by June next year.
Among other projects at advanced stage is a total of 58km of sewers both trunk and secondary which will also be laid and 2,000 sewer connections.
So far 12km of reticulation sewers have been laid and 153 manholes completed, a project that is expected to serve residents of Gatundu Town, Ruabora, Mutomo, Kenyatta Road, Kiganjo, Handege and Ngenda.
Other ongoing projects include drilling and equipping of 15 boreholes bringing an additional two million litres of water per day to serve approximately 35,000 residents of Wamuguthuko, Wamwangi, Kiriko, Gakui, Gitwe and Karatu.