MP kick-starts revival of stalled Sh. 400m water project.

CLOCKWISE:  1. Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina assessing the damaged pipes meant to supply water to Ndula, Maguguni and Ngoliba at Chania River on Wednesday. 2. The MP nailing the roof to a water tank meant to store part of the water at Gatiiguru village in Ngoliba. 3. The MP being briefed  on the progress of the project so far by members of the NDUMAGU Water Project at Maguguni.

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina has kick-started the revival of a stalled KES. 400 million water project that was earmarked to benefit the residents of Thika East Sub-County with water for irrigation and domestic use.

Speaking on Wednesday during a fact finding mission for the Ndula-Maguguni (Ndumagu) Water Project at Chania River, Maguguni and Ngoliba, the MP expressed his disappointment at the manner in which over KES. 300 million was spent with residents benefitting with not even a drop of water.

“It is very unfortunate that the government spent over sh. 300 million on this project without any resident benefitting from the water. Three years down the line, these pipes are lying idle here and being vandalised yet our people are dying of thirst and still waiting to use this water for irrigation. 
Where did this money go?” posed Wainaina while addressing the press at Chania River near BAT which is the intake point of the water project.

Wainaina noted that the project's failure to take off has seen over 10,000 households continue to suffer especially in the face of drought yet the government had allocated the money to tackle hunger and achieve food security so as to guarantee growth in all sectors.

“The project has a capacity to pump about 300,000 litres of water per hour which is enough to serve the people of the lower parts of Thika with water for both domestic and for irrigation. But apart from the setting up the main 30km pipe, it has not been reticulated into homes thus no one has accessed it. 
I am going to mobilise private investors in Thika to raise about Ksh. 30 million and ensure this water gets to the people within the next two months,” said Wainaina.

According to the residents of Maguguni and Ngoliba we talked to, the idea was born in 2011 after experiencing numerous water challenges due to the dry climatic conditions that forced them to be dependent on relief food from the government and well-wishers.

“We got tired of depending on relief food every year despite being sandwiched between two major rivers that is Chania and Athi Rivers,” explained Alexander Kamenju who is the project’s chairperson.

Their pleas were heard and in 2013, the National Irrigation Board (NIB) sent a team of surveyors to assess the viability of the project.

In 2015, the government allocated KES. 409 million to the project and released KES. 300million for the first phase, with the entire project scheduled to be complete by the end of 2016.

However, three years down the line, none of the residents has tasted the first drop of this prestigious investment.

The residents reckon that after the main trunk pipes were fixed, the project was abandoned laying fears that the money allocated for the distribution of water to their farms was embezzled.

They are now demanding an explanation from the relevant authorities as to why the project has not been completed since it was commissioned in 2015 and have appealed to the government to move in fast and ensure that the project was funded to its conclusion and completed to enable them embark on various agricultural investment activities.

Initially, it was to benefit about 200 households in Ndula and 840 households in Maguguni but it was later extended to Ngoliba. If actualised, it will now serve about 10,000 families going by the current growth in this catchment area.

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