Construction of Miwongoni River Dam project in Kenya to resume

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Construction of Miwongoni River Dam in Machakos project to resume

Construction of Miwongoni River Dam project in Machakos County is set to resume. Environment and Lands Court made the announcement and said they have set aside an order that stopped the project in July 2019.

Justice Oscar Angote, who made the ruling said that the injunctive order issued against the Athi Water Services Board was made out of misrepresentation of facts by a group of more than 200 residents affected by the project.

The development project aims at assisting the people of Machakos and surrounding areas in eradication of perennial water shortages, diseases and poverty. It is being funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) at a cost of US 2.9M, and Jiangxi Water and Hydropower Construction Company Limited was appointed by the Athi Water Services Board to undertake the project.

Read:Kenyan Govt cleans up Athi River ahead of Thwake dam completion

End perennial water shortage

The project involves construction Miwongoni 15-metre High Earth Fill dam with a storage capacity of 1.6m3. The contractors will also construct the New Miwongoni Treatment Works with a capacity of 10,000m3/d which is about 300m to the southwest of the existing Maruba Dam Treatment Works including pumps, staff houses, laboratory and administrative building.

The new Miwongoni treatment works will have a new storage tank at Katelembo with 5,000m3 capacity, 5km long pipe and 400mm diameter. The new Miwongoni treatment works will have a new storage tank at Katelembo with 5,000m3 capacity, 5km long pipe and 400mm diameter. According to Athi Water, the Miwongoni dam will end the perennial water shortage, and spur development in the area.

The project had halted after residents claimed interest in the land saying they were entitled to compensation. They moved to court seeking orders and a declaration that they are entitled to exclusive and unimpeded right of possession and occupation of the suit property. They also wanted an order stopping government from occupying the land.

Before the case could be heard, both sides recorded a consent agreement, which was adopted as a court order on July 17, 2019. But Athi Water returned to court a year later, in June 2020, seeking to have the consent set aside arguing that the plaintiffs were motivated by malice and mischief in entering in the consent.