Here is RAILA ODINGA’s statement on UHURU/ RUTO’s secret project in Murang’a00:00
.... damage to the hydrology of these areas is that in Murang’a alone, 77 species of aqua life which include 7 species of fish are expected to be extinguished.
The loss of water is also expected to result the lowering of water flowing into Masinga, Kamburu, Gitaru, Kindaruma and Kiambere dams, thereby also compromising Kenyan’s generation of hydro-electric power.
In Murang’a, four hydro power stations on Maragua River known as Wanji and Mesco projects operated by KENGEN and five private generating stations shall become completely unviable with this project.
Environmental experts are also raising concern about the effect of tunneling the mountain in topography as unstable as Murang’a. Murang’a is listed in our National Disaster Profile as one of the most vulnerable areas in Kenya to landslides.
In fact the feasibility study of this project also found that the Murang’a area records seismic activity.
The consulting engineers have warned that this danger of landslides and seismic activity can have an impact on the structural integrity of the tunnels as well as on Ndakaini dam and this could result in catastrophe.
Once completed, this project will double the amount of water flowing to Nairobi. Yet Nairobi has not been prepared to process this extra water.
Current estimates are that Nairobi’s drainage sewerage system can only cover 20 per cent of the city’s waste. Up to 80 per cent of the city’s waste ends up in Nairobi River. This will soon be 180 per cent.
Also ignored is the effect of this project on the ecosystem of the Aberdares. The Aberdares is one of the water tunnels that are threatened by deforestation. Water generation capacity of the Aberdare has been going down. This project needed to make provisions for the protection of the Aberdare forests before thinking of taking even more water from it.
I therefore wish to state the following:-
1. President Uhuru Kenyatta needs to address the people living in the Tana River Basin and tell them why his government is proceeding with the implementation of this project in such secrecy.
2. President Uhuru Kenyatta must put an immediate stop to this project until:-
a) Proper public participation is conducted in all areas of Murang’a, in Garissa, Ukambani and the Tana River Delta region.
b) Comprehensive audit is conducted of all environmental concerns raise and a proper environmental impact assessment made based in all the necessary data and in particular the hydrological survey of the underground water systems
3. The World Bank needs to address itself to the people of Kenya and tell them why it approved the funding of a project and commenced release of the funds to the contractor before an environmental impact assessment was done, which was contrary to the World Bank Group Environment, Health and Safety Guidelines.
4. The Governor of Murang’a must immediately withdraw the consent of the Murang’a County Government from the Joint Technical Consensus document entered into five months ago with Athi Water Services Board.
This consensus is:-
a) A fraud on the people of Murang’a as it deceives them that the issues affecting their environment have been resolved while the truth is that they have not.
b) The project is extremely selfish since it ignores that fate of the communities downstream and outside Murang’a County which will be equally affected by the project.
5. An consultative panel of stakeholders must be immediately set up to bring together representatives of all the communities living in the Tana River basin, together with Governmental agencies relevant to the issues arising and local and international Non- Governmental Organizations dealing with environmental issues.
6. President Uhuru must also give Kenyans a direct assurance that he has no conflict of interest in this matter between his commercial interests and the interest of the people of Kenya and that he is not silent about this project because of that conflict of interests.
In the interests of the all the communities along the Tana Basin, President Kenyatta must stop digging the tunnels. These are tunnels of death to our people and our country.
RT. HON RAILA ODINGA; EGH
OCTOBER 10, 2016.