By George Kithuka
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has stirred another storm in the government accusing it of secretly undertaking a mega water project that would have grave environmental consequences.
Raila claims the 6.8 billion shilling Northern Collector Water Tunnel would affect communities relying on River Tana as its water will be diverted to Ndakaini dam to benefit Nairobi County.
But in a quick rejoinder, jubilee leaders led by Water Minister Eugene Wamalwa instead read hypocrisy on Raila’s part claiming he was the one who launched the project in September 2012 under the coalition government. The government maintained that the project followed the due process.
Raila Odinga launched a water master plan for one of the vision 2013 flagship projects whe he was Kenya’s prime minister.
The project entailed short, medium and long term measures to ensure Nairobi and its outskirts have sufficient clean water supply.
Besides drilling of boreholes and construction of dams, a major component of the project was the mega northern collector tunnel project to harvest excess water during wet seasons from Aberdare forest in Muranga County for storage in Ndakaini dam.
Today the opposition leader terms the project a tunnel of death undertaken in secret by the government.
Wamalwa says the project funded by the World Bank as a category (A) project followed due process of the law before construction commenced and refuted claims by Raila that it would turn parts of the country into deserts.
Wamalwa said once complete the Northern collector tunnel project will fill Ndakaini dam with sustainable levels that will ensure consistent daily supply of water in all parts of the city and its environs.