THE GOVERNOR OF MURANGA MUST STAND UP FOR HIS PEOPLE:
The Governor of Muranga H.E. Mwangi wa Iria, has today issued a statement standing up with the Jubilee project that was exposed yesterday by Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga.
In his statement, the Governor refused to address the issues that were raised and instead went into a personalized attack of the Opposition leader.
We wish state that the stand of the Governor ignores the position that was taken by other leaders of Muranga County on this issue.
On December 22nd 2014, the Water, Energy, Forestry, Environment, Natural Resources and Co-operative Management Committee of the Muranga County Assembly issued a report on the proposed Northern Collector Tunnel.
The report was a result of an inquiry that was conducted by the Committee on behalf of the Muranga County Assembly whose copy we attach here.
The Committee found that:
1. Only 33% of the people of Muranga had access to clean drinking water yet so much water was being taken from Muranga to Nairobi without a drop being left for Muranga people.
2. Data on the Muranga ecosystem and hydrology needed to be collected as none existed at the time the project was starting
3. The areas with the highest deficiency of water in Muranga i.e. Makuyu, Ithanga, Kakuzi, Kandara, and Kimoriri had been ignored in the proposed water schemes.
4. The project was going to compromise hydro-electric generation in the seven folks scheme.
5. There were no agreements between the county government of Muranga and the Athi Water Service Board AWSB despite the fact that the project was all based on Muranga and its resources.
6. Public participation was only conducted in some parts of Muranga. No efforts were made to get views from most parts of Muranga including Makuyu, Ithanga, Kandara, Kambiti, Kakuzi and Kimoriri which has severe water shortages.
7. There was no programme for the conservation of the Aberdare despite the fact that it was the catchment area of the project.
8. The project was a disaster because Muranga is prone to landslides and seismic forces.
9. The project will lead to drying up of underground water including water from wells, boreholes and springs.
10. There was no monitoring and evaluation system to prevent over abstraction of the water.
The Committee then recommended:
1. That a new Environmental Impact Assessment be conducted by the County Executive Committee Member in charge of water in Muranga
2. 40% of all the water be left in Muranga for use by the local people.
3. The amount of water to be taken from Muranga be reduced to 50%.
4. Public participation for the project be conducted anew.
5. An agreement be entered into between Muranga people and AWSB which must provide for ;
a). Reforestation and conservation of the Aberdares.
b). Payment to the County Government of Muranga of Kshs. 1 per cubic meter of water taken from Muranga.
c) Total access of the project by official of the Muranga County Government to conduct evaluation and monitoring of the project in implementation and operation.
6. AWSB convene all stakeholders to the project including the Muranga County Government, TARDA, KENGEN, National Irrigation Board, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Interior among others.
7. That the construction of the entire project be suspended till all these issues are resolved.
These are the things that Mwangi Iria should be pursuing instead of attacking Hon Raila Odinga.
The Governor is also aware of the meeting by leaders from Muranga led by Senator Kembi Gitura and Speaker Nduati Kariuki on 22nd June 2015 where all the Muranga leaders said that this project must stop.
Governor Iria should stop being a coward and stand up for the survival of his people. Their livelihoods are in total danger. This is what must be his only priority, not pandering to selfish political and commercial interests.
The governor must also be aware that in the end, Kenya is one nation. An act that destroys one part of Kenya in the end pulls down the entire Kenyan nation. That remains Hon Raila Odinga’s sole interest in this matter.
OCTOBER 11, 2016.