Economy

Nairobi secures Sh15.3bn from Korea for second Northern Collector Tunnel

Sakaja

Johnson Sakaja is the Governor of the County Government of Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Nairobi City County will receive $100 million (Sh15.3 billion) funding from the Korean government for the construction of the second Northern Collector Tunnel, Governor Johnson Sakaja has revealed.

Mr Sakaja told county staff during the inaugural City Hall Thanksgiving Service that his administration and the National Treasury will receive the funds for the construction of the second Northern Collector Tunnel and the Maragua water works, which is expected to provide an additional 220 million cubic metres per day to Nairobi.

Read: Why Nairobi's poor suffer the worst water problems

“We have received $100 million from Korea to construct the second Northern Collector Tunnel and the Maragua water project which will give us 220 million cubic metres of water per day by 2027,” Mr Sakaja said during the prayers held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

“This will give us the quantity of water that Nairobi residents need per day. We are talking to the National Treasury and the President to finalise the deal with Korea. The Nairobi County government will undertake the project. I want to assure you that we now have the money to end our water problems.”

Mr Sakaja said Nairobi has had a perennial problem of water shortage given that it receives the commodity from only four sources.

He said over five million Nairobi residents have been relying on the Kikuyu Springs, Ruiru, Sasumua and Ndakaini for water.

The county boss added that the first phase of the Northern Collector Tunnel, which is expected to be completed in the next few months, will provide an additional 525 million cubic metres per day.

“By February or March 2024, we expect to get an extra 140 million cubic metres of water per day from the Northern Collector Tunnel and this will reduce the shortfall,” Mr Sakaja said.

Nairobi residents have been subjected to water rationing and irregular water supply since 2017. But this is set to change under a plan being laid down by different agencies.

The plan involves bringing online three new dams — Kariminu II, Maragua IV and Ndarugo —which will allow the water agencies to pump an additional 320,000 cubic metres to the city in the short term.

Once completed, the projects will supplement water that will be pumped via the completed Northern Water Collector Tunnel, which will supply 140,000 cubic metres daily.

This will see a supply deficit to the city, which currently stands at 350,000 cubic metres, leading to a surplus.

With demand estimated to be increasing by 20,000 cubic metres every year, the deficit will be close to 450,000 cubic metres in the next five years.

The Northern Water Collector Tunnel system and Kariminu Dam project started in 2015 and was expected to be ready by last April, but it hit a snag over an outstanding Sh3.5 billion bill.

The water supply system entails the construction of an 11.8-kilometre underground tunnel that draws floodwater from the Maragua, Gikigie and Irati rivers.

Also read: City Hall turns to Safaricom for revenue collection

The project has three main components — a tunnel that costs about Sh8.5 billion, a Sh4.5 billion water treatment plant and the pipelines costing about Sh7.5 billion.

[email protected]