Lead­ers give con­di­tions for wa­ter tun­nel project

Mu­rang’a politicians and pro­fes­sion­als de­mand that they county get a per­cent­age of fees from the wa­ter au­thor­ity

The Star (Kenya) - - News General - GIL­BERT KOECH @TheS­tarKenya

Mu­rang’a lead­ers have laid down con­di­tions that must be met for the northern col­lec­tor tun­nel project to pro­ceed.

They said the con­di­tions will en­sure res­i­dents ben­e­fit from the project.

Lead­ers want the law changed for the county to get a per­cent­age of the ab­strac­tion fee from the Wa­ter Re­source Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity.

They de­manded that Nairobi pay for wa­ter it is draw­ing from Mu­rang’a.

The lead­ers said lo­cals must be given pri­or­ity and the project time­lines set to ben­e­fit lo­cals must be clar­i­fied.

The lead­ers are MPs Jam­leck Ka­mau (Kigumo), Irungu Kang’ata (Ki­haru), Alice Wa­home (Kan­dara), Clement Wam­bugu (Mathioya) and Tirus Ngahu (Kangema).

Mu­rang’a pro­fes­sion­als and lo­cal lead­ers yes­ter­day gave the Athi Wa­ter Ser­vices Board and Wa­ter CS Eugene Wa­malwa the con­di­tions at a fo­rum at Sa­fari Park Ho­tel.

We need to en­sure the in­jus­tice wit­nessed in the de­vel­op­ment of the Ndakaini Dam does not oc­cur again, Ka­mau said.

Mu­rang’a County Ini­tia­tive Steer­ing Com­mit­tee chair­man Kiarie Mwaura asked who will be in charge of the tun­nel once com­pleted.

Se­na­tor Kembi Gi­tura asked what role the 80 per cent of wa­ter be­ing taken to Nairobi has in gen­er­a­tion of 60 per cent of Nairobi GDP.

He said he is not op­posed to the project but wants the county and lead­ers to be in­volved in it.

“We do not want Cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity projects. We can built a po­lice sta­tion us­ing the CDF. We want to be part of the project for Mu­rang’a county to meet bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion,” he said.

Wa­malwa said the ab­strac­tion fee must be an­chored in law to avoid agree­ments be­ing en­tered by coun­ties as they are bound to bring legal tus­sles. He said the Aber­dares ecosys­tem will be re­for­ested.

Wa­malwa said a meet­ing will be set in Mu­rang’a to ad­dress the is­sues raised.

/JEN­NIFER ODUOR

Wa­ter CS Eugene Wa­malwa and Mu­rang’a Se­na­tor Kembi Gi­tura at Sa­fari Park Ho­tel, Nairobi, yes­ter­day

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