Here is RAILA ODINGA’s statement on UHURU/ RUTO’s secret project in Murang’aEditor's Choice 09:22
JUBILEE MUST STOP DIGGING THE TUNNELS OF ANGER AND DEATH:
Ladies and gentlemen of the media;
I wish to address you today on a secret Jubilee Government project in the Aberdare Mountains, just above the Murang’a region, whose impact will be one of the most disastrous in the country and on residents of the Continent.
The project is known as the Northern Collector Tunnel. It has been going on since 2014 in utmost secrecy, heavy security and without acknowledgement even by a regime desperate to be seen to be commissioning projects. It will be collecting water from the rivers at their source in the Aberdares and diverting the water to Thika’s Ndakaini dam for use in Nairobi.
Seven rivers are targeted; all of them feed the famous River Tana, the source of livelihood for communities all the way from Ukambani, through Muranga, Garissa, Tana River and other parts of the Coast.
In the beginning, the project will target rivers Maragua, Irati and Gikigie. It will then be extended to tap water from rivers South Mathioya, Hembe, Githugi and North Mathioya. All these are tributaries of the Tana River.
The secrecy surrounding this project is by design. Even the Jubilee Government knows it is a bad project. It will turn Murang’a, Garissa, Ukambani and Tana River Delta regions into deserts in five years of implementation. This is according to technical and feasibility reports that are also available to the very government implementing the project.
Here is how it is designed to work:
- A 3-meter diameter tunnel will be dug high up in the Aberdare range to connect all the seven rivers to Thika’s Ndakaini dam.
- A shaft will then be dug from the surface to convey water to the tunnel beneath.
- It is estimated that some of these ducts will be up to 250 meters deep.
- The 3 meter diameter tunnel will run for 11.8 kilometers in the first phase.
- The tunnel in phase II is expected to be much longer and the ducts much deeper.
The project is being implemented by the Athi Water Service Board and is financed by the World Bank.
} It will cost Kshs. 6.8 Billion.
} But the World Bank has classified it as Category A project. This is means it is identified as one with potential for large-scale conversion or degradation of natural habitats and significant resettlement or other major social impacts, among others.
The late Hon John Michuki had raised objection to this project just before he died. He is reported to have spoken to the people of Kanyanyaini Location in Kangema Constituency where he said:-
“You will only construct these mole tunnels over my dead body.”
The Murang’a County Assembly has since raised serious concerns about this project. The Assembly mandated its Water, Energy, Forestry, Environment Natural Resource and Cooperate Management Committee to investigate the project.
The Assembly adopted the Report of the Committee which resolved that the implementation of the whole project should be suspended until all matters of concern are fully addressed.
This conclusion was reached after considering only the effects of the project on Murang’a County. If one considers the project effects on the rest of the Tana River basin, then it is clear that this project is totally outrageous. The concerns over the project are as follows:
• The participation public was so limited that Members of the Murang’a County Assembly have termed the whole project as “secretive”. Public sensitization was only carried out in six towns that lie on the tunnel path, namely, Ichichi, Kanyenyaini, Makomboki, Mairi, Kangari, Kinyona and Gacharage.
• No efforts were made to get the views of most of the Murang’a people particularly in those areas that already have serious water challenges like...