State To Construct 100 Mega Dams To Conserve Flood Water

The Government is planning to construct 100 mega dams and another 1,000 small water reservoirs as one way of harvesting storm waters.

Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation CS Zachary Mwangi says seven of the dams will be built in the Central region to cushion the area against water scarcity during the dry season.

The CS who was speaking in Nyeri ahead of a planned tour of various water projects in the county said the government is partnering with both donors and international lenders to help in funding the ambitious program which has already been sanctioned by Cabinet.

‘The Government is committed to setting up water projects which will mainly include dams. In this region (Central), we have about seven major dams that the government is committed to build and so we are sourcing for funds. As a government, we are committed to ensuring rainwater does not cause havoc. The other day the Cabinet passed (a resolution) that the Ministry (of Water) comes up with 100 mega dams and 1,000 smaller dams to ensure that we a
re able to harvest rainwater,’ he told KNA.

His sentiments come at a time when Kenya is confronted with devastating floods from the ongoing El Nino rains that have seen more than 100 people lose their lives and another 189,000 displaced from their homes.

Among the worst affected counties include Tana River, Garissa, Mandera, and Wajir that have seen hundreds of families cut off from the rest of the country after raging floods destroyed major roads, and bridges and destroyed critical infrastructures like markets and communication installations.

Yesterday the National El Nino Emergency and Disaster Response Command Center chaired by Interior PS Raymond Omollo listed Isiolo, Kwale, Homa Bay, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Meru and Kisumu counties among areas likely to experience flooding.

To address the looming disaster, the PS said the Government has set up an information desk at Nyayo House to receive and respond to any emergency that may arise from the ongoing rains.

Mwangi also said the Gov
ernment is working with County Governments to address the flooding menace including assessing the extent of damage to existing water projects that have been destroyed by the floods.

He cited Garissa as one of the counties that have borne the brunt of destruction in terms of the number of boreholes that have been destroyed and said every effort is being taken to make sure they are rehabilitated once the rains subside.

‘There are several counties that have been affected and we had so many boreholes that have already been submerged like in Garissa where our water pumping infrastructure has been submerged. So, we are working to see that we work with the county government to rehabilitate the boreholes and other water infrastructure that have caused havoc in these areas,’ he added.

‘We are working in close collaboration with all development partners to ensure that what the government has planned to do is achieved. This is a collective responsibility between the government, private sector and development partners
,’ he stated.

Also present were Nyeri governor, Mutahi Kahiga, Nyeri Deputy Governor, Warui Kinanire, Tana Water Works Development Agency (TWWDA)Chief Executive Officer Engineer Philip Gichuki, chairman of the board of directors of TWWDA, Wanyaga Gathaka, Nyeri County Commissioner, Pius Murugu and a host of TWWDA board members.

On his part, Nyeri County Commissioner Pius Murugu said that the county had not been badly affected by the ongoing El Nino rains save for minor cases of landslides that had been reported in Mukurwe-ini constituency.

Murugu however noted that the County Committee on Disaster Management was on high alert to handle expected cases of emergencies from Kieni, Blue Valley in Nyeri town, and in Tetu which he said were prone to experiencing landslides and flooding.

‘We have had a few minor cases of mudslides in Mukurwe-ini but we have a committee and a plan in place to deal with any emergencies that may arise,’ said Murugu.

The CS is on a county tour to commission the Matuto primary school
borehole in Mukurwe-ini. He is later expected in Kieni constituency for the commissioning of Kinyaiti Community borehole in Endarasha and later he will lay the foundation stone for the construction of the Kiawara Wastewater Decentralized treatment facility.

Source: Kenya News Agency