President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to take action against companies polluting River Athi.
The Head of State who is on a tour of Ukambani said fixing the sewerage systems around cities would help solve the issue of pollution to water bodies.
“We can only do that by protecting our environment through developing and ensuring our cities have proper sewerage systems so that waste is not dumped into our rivers, lakes or seas,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday. “There are issues of environment pollution, we have tasked NEMA to deal with the matter.”
The dam, built at a cost of Ksh.42B will be commissioned in 2022, according to President Uhuru.
“We plan to come back here in June next year to officially commission the Dam,” President Kenyatta added “It will help change the lives of the people. Water can be used for domestic purposes and mostly irrigation,”
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who was present at the tour, stated that the demolitions in Ruai and Kariobangi were intended to expand the sewer system so that areas downstream have clean water.
President Kenyatta’s visit comes just days after the Auditor General issued a damning report claiming that the water flowing into the dam may be unsafe for human consumption.
The multibillion-shilling project aims to reduce residents’ reliance on rainwater while also providing new opportunities for irrigation, hydropower, and industrial activities.
According to the most recent report, the water entering the dam may not be safe for human consumption because it will be drawn from the Athi River, which receives the majority of its water from the Nairobi River.
The report quoting various studies says in part: “…Nairobi river is heavily polluted with heavy metal and the water is unfit for human consumption…”, adding, “there was no evidence of efforts by the implementing agency to mitigate against the risk and ensure the river is free from pollutants and fit for human consumption before the end of the expected completion of the programme in November 2022”.
The Auditor General expresses fear that the objectives of constructing the same may therefore not be achieved.
So far, 37 percent of the work has been completed for the project jointly funded by the Kenyan government and the Africa Finance Development Bank to a tune of Ksh. 81.63 Billion
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