According to the auditor general, a multibillion dam is holding water that is unsafe and not suitable for human consumption.
Located in Mbooni constituency Makueni county, Thwake dam was the hope for over 1.3 million residents cutting across Machakos, Konza , Makueni and Kitui areas.
The multi-billion shilling project seeking to reduce the resident’s over-reliance on rain water and giving new possibilities for irrigation, hydropower as well as industrial activities.
But the Auditor General Dr. Nancy Gathungu is now pouring cold water on the dam whose construction began in 2017 and was projected to be completed in September 2022.
The latest report raising the alarm that the water entering the dam may not be safe for human consumption, since it will be drawn from Athi River, which gets a majority of its water from Nairobi river.
The report quoting various studies says in part: “…Nairobi river is heavily polluted with heavy metal and the water is unfit for human consumption…”, adding, “there was no evidence of efforts by the implementing agency to mitigate against the risk and ensure the river is free from pollutants and fit for human consumption before the end of the expected completion of the programme in November 2022”.
The Auditor General expresses fear that the objectives of constructing the same may therefore not be achieved.
So far, 37 percent of the work has been completed for the project jointly funded by the Kenyan government and the Africa Finance Development Bank to a tune of Ksh. 81.63 Billion.
The first phase alone cost Ksh. 42.36 billion.
In 2019, the Auditor general had cast doubt on the availability of funds for the remaining three phases, the new developments now bound to make it harder to secure the Ksh.39.84 billion needed to cover the remaining three phases.
The auditor also raised questions on the utilisation of the money allocated to the project citing the management for breaching the law by varying some of the agreed specifications particularly on vehicles to be provided by the contractor.
The Thwake dam revelations, adding to growing list of scandals surrounding dam projects in the country.