In Summary
  • A document from the Water ministry seen by the  Sunday Nation, shows that other than consultancy fees, about Sh120 billion was paid to foreign companies for construction of 10 dams in various parts of the country.
  • A majority of the other dams have either stalled, are poorly constructed or have water that is unfit for human consumption.
  • The billions were invested to address the country’s water stress levels projected to hit 80 per cent by 2030, painting a grim picture of the country’s water security levels.

A dam built in Kiserian at a cost of Sh1 billion cannot be used as it was sited at a wrong location; it is, therefore, of no benefit to residents.

Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui now says there is nothing he can do about the over Sh1 billion Kiserian dam that has now become the collection point of all manner of garbage, including sewage.

UP IN SMOKE

The construction of the 18-metre-high dam some two kilometres from Kajiado town started in 2008 and ended in 2013.

According to the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA), Kiserian dam was designed to store 1.22 million cubic metres of water and supply 15,700 cubic metres of water daily to about 253,000 residents in Kiserian, Ongata Rongai and parts of Ngong’.

However, the monies invested in the dam appear to have gone up in smoke after Mr Chelugui admitted that the dam has now become an eyesore, has been rendered irrelevant as it is constructed a short way downstream from a sprawling settlement without a properly organised sewer system.

“The poor works on the dam have seen it become a collection point of sludge and sewage. It was poorly procured and sited,” Mr Chelugui recently told a parliamentary committee.

The latest revelations by the CS go against the government’s commitment to provide clean water to all in line with Vision 2030.

Water scarcity in many parts of Kenya has forced residents to depend on boreholes, shallow wells and seasonal rivers, also shared with livestock.

It begs the question why the government would use lots of money on projects that not only become dangerous to the community but whose value for money remains an illusion.

To address the dangers it portends to the environment, it will mean incurring extra expenditure to refill the dam or it will become a dumpsite.

But even as this happens, Mr Chelugui has also revealed that the government splashed Sh3.16 billion in consultancy fees to foreign firms involved in the construction of mega dams across the country, including the Kiserian one. 

GRIM PICTURE

A document from the Water ministry seen by the  Sunday Nation, shows that other than consultancy fees, about Sh120 billion was paid to foreign companies for construction of 10 dams in various parts of the country.

A majority of the other dams have either stalled, are poorly constructed or have water that is unfit for human consumption.

The billions were invested to address the country’s water stress levels projected to hit 80 per cent by 2030, painting a grim picture of the country’s water security levels.

Irrigation is deemed the solution on food insecurity with rain-fed agriculture increasingly becoming unreliable.

Page 1 of 2