Construction of Northern Water Collector Tunnel at 91% complete

Construction of Northern Water Collector Tunnel at 91% complete

Construction of Kenya’s Northern Water Collector Tunnel in Murang’a County is 91% complete. Four cabinet secretaries led by Amina Mohammed (sports) visited the project at Makomboki area and ascertained that the tunnel will be launched before June to ease perennial water shortage to residents of Nairobi.

Amina accompanied by Joe Mucheru (ICT), Simon Chelugui (Labour) and Sicily Kariuki (Water) were on an inspection tour of the development projects being implemented by the national government.

The World Bank-funded project is Kenya’s longest tunnel set to harness flood water from three rivers in Murang’a County and expected to increase water volume at Ndakaini dam, the main water source for Kenya’s Capital, Nairobi.

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Boost water volume

The US $200 million project will have a water treatment plant installed at a cost of US $65 million, 56km pipeline to Nairobi at US$ 46 million, while doing the tunnel will cost US $68 million. The entire Northern Water Collector Tunnel project involves construction of river intake structures at Maragua, Gikie and Irati rivers plus construction of access adits at Gikigie, Irati and Kaanja.

The project will harness 152,000 cubic meters of flood water daily and is expected to boost water volume at the Ndakaini dam. Nairobi gets 580,000 cubic meters of water daily against a demand of 750,000 cubic meters per day.

It also embroils construction of a fully concrete lined 11km long, 3.0 diameter main water tunnel from Maragua intake to Githika outfall. The tunneling technology used shall not interfere with aquifers nor have any seepage of water.

Amina said the project will come with other water projects which will be done to local communities with a target of increasing water connections in homesteads within the county. Some of the projects associated with the tunnel include; Murang’a, Ithanga, Gatanga, Gatango and Ichichi, Makomboki community water projects.

The tunnel once completed in April this year is expected to increase water capacity at Ndakaini dam, main reservoir of water supplied to Nairobi and its environs.