State steps up efforts to provide Nairobi with enough water by 2035

Karimenu II Dam

Ongoing construction of Karimenu II Dam in Kiambu County. Once complete, the dam is expected to add 23,000 cubic metres of water supply to Nairobi County.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The quest to provide enough water for all Nairobi residents is turning out to be a race against time, with the government keen on delivering on the grand plan by 2035.

The plan requires that the State ensures all ongoing water projects are finished in time and that adequate funding is available. It also calls for an effective plan to fight water sector cartels besides minimising wastage.

According to a July 2020 report by Athi Water Works Development Agency, the capital city has a water deficit of about 304,000 cubic metres per day.

 “To address this crisis, the ongoing construction of the Northern Collector Tunnel in Murang’a County, once complete by the close of 2022, will boost supply by 140,000 cubic metres per day,” the report reads.

Karimenu II Dam

It adds that Karimenu II Dam in Kiambu County, which is also under construction, is expected to add 23,000 cubic metres of water.

“Additional suggestions to increase water supply to Nairobi are the building of Maragua and Ruiru II dams,” it says.

While Maragua dam, which is projected to pump 180,000 cubic metres per day, is still in its formative phase — a tentative date for its completion being by close of 2026 — Ruiru II dam is expected to be ready by close of 2023.

“Once it is possible to deliver those additional water sources, plus the Ndarugu dam that is anticipated to provide a further 225,000 cubic metres per day by 2035, it will be safely said that the city and its satellite towns have won the battle against water shortage,” the report says.

The urgency with which the Nairobi water crisis is being handled came to the fore in the past one week when two delegations visited the Sh8 billion Northern Collector Tunnel project in Murang’a.

One delegation, which made a visit last week, was led by Water and Sanitation CS Sicily Kariuki while on Monday, Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director-General Mohamed Badi also visited.