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‘Tunnels of death’ project to proceed despite row on environmental effects

The multibillion-shilling Northern Collector Water Tunnel will proceed as planned despite the war of words between Cord and the governing Jubilee coalition over the mega water project in Murang’a County.

The Sh6.8 billion project, on completion, will be able to supply Nairobi residents with an additional 140,000 cubic metres.

Officials of Athi Water Service Board, the body overseeing the project, on Friday held a media briefing where they refuted concerns that it will have a negative impact to the environment.

A view of the Northern Collector Water Tunnel. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI
A view of the Northern Collector Water Tunnel. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI

Chief executive Engineer Malaquen Milgo told journalists that the project was opened to public participation and underwent an impact assessment study which confirmed it will have no effect on the flow of neighbouring rivers.

“I would also like to re-assure the community in Murang’a and other downstream counties and users that the detailed design for the Northern Collector Water Tunnel Project, has considered all findings of the hydrological and ecological studies to ensure that the project shall neither result in low river flows nor divert water during low river flow seasons,” Engineer Milgo said.

Cord leader Raila Odinga had on Tuesday accused the government of secretly implementing the project, which he said risked turning five counties that share the River Tana into deserts.