Water Cabinet Secretary (CS) Sicily Kariuki has said an additional 400 workers will be recruited to fast-track the construction of Thwake Multi-purpose Dam to reclaim time lost during the Covid-19 period.
CS Kariuki said that 37 percent of construction works has been completed against an expected completion rate of 42 percent.
The additional worker, Ms. Kariuki said, will ensure the project stays on course.
She, however, noted that the government protocols on the fight against COVID-19 will be followed at the site to ensure safety for both workers and the surrounding community.
“Currently we have about 800 workers and the additional 400 will step up the works and ensure the 5 percent that is lacking behind will be completed on time,” said Kariuki.
She was speaking on Wednesday when she toured the site at the confluence of rivers Athi and Thwake in Makueni and Kitui counties.
The CS said only 25 households are yet to be compensated due to family disputes but added compensation will be executed once the issues are resolved.
She said the funds for compensation had already been disbursed to the National Land Commission pending resolutions of the cases.
On pollution, the CS said the government was keen on cleaning Nairobi River and its tributaries by stopping the flow of toxic effluent into the rivers.
Ms. Kariuki said her ministry was working closely with the Ministry of Environment to clean the river all the way to its source at Ondiri Dam in Kikuyu, Kiambu County.
“We have made it our business to clean up the rivers and its tributaries to prevent pollution of the water sources,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
Once completed the dam will provide water to more than 1.3 million people in Makueni, Machakos and Kitui counties besides controlling flooding downstream in the coastal region.
The dam will also generate electricity and provide water to irrigate 40,000 hectares of land.
Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo echoed the CS sentiments that the dam will control flooding downstream besides providing water for consumption for the lower eastern counties.
The CS was accompanied by Water Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Andrew Tuimur, senior water officials and Makueni County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed and County Executive for Water (CEC) Rosemary Maundu among others.