GITURA’s statement supporting RAILA’s dossier on Jubilee tunnels of death in Muranga

When we last met as leaders and other stakeholders from Murang’a County to discuss the Northern Collector Tunnel (NCT) in or about January of this year at Golden Palm Hotel in Kenol, it was unanimously agreed that a technical committee be commissioned by the Murang’a County Government to look into the various areas of concern regarding the building of the said tunnel. The terms of reference included amongst others:

– to look into whether or not the proposed tunnel would in any way affect the aquifers that lie between the three rivers in question, that is Maragua, Irati and Gikigie and Ndakaini dam, and therefore be a threat to the normal flow of the said rivers now and in the future,

– if it was found that it was safe from both a scientific and environmental point of view to build the tunnel, the committee was to determine how Muranga County was to benefit from the extraction of its water for the benefit of another county, to wit Nairobi. 

It was emphasized that Muranga as a county should not repeat the Ndakaini mistake. It must be recalled that when Ndakaini was built, devolution had not even been thought of, we had only the national government. Today, we have Murang’a as a government on an equal footing with Nairobi. We must therefore not allow anything to be done to the detriment of the people we represent for the benefit of another county.

It was also agreed that pending the report from the experts, Athi Water Supplies Board (AWSB) should stop all work pertaining to the building of the tunnel. In defiance of this agreement, AWSB has mobilized and has been busy setting up the equipment with a view to commencing works, mainly at Makomboki in Kigumo sub-county. Further to this, AWSB has been on a propaganda blitz in Kikuyu vernacular FM stations and in newspapers preaching as it were to the Murang’a people on the benefits of the tunnel to them and ridiculing the efforts of the leaders to have the matter properly dealt with. 

AWSB seems to think that this propaganda is equivalent to public participation which it is not; AWSB needs to be disabused of this notion and made to understand, which it does not appear to do, that it cannot take Murang’a people for granted. We are also all aware that there is an environmental court order for the works to be put on hold pending determination of the matter by the court, an order that the AWSB has continued to defy. 

I would like to take this opportunity to....

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