Why Catholic diocese got title deed for river

River Kalondon
River Kalondon at Consolata Mission in Mathari, Nyeri, on August 4. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG 

You obviously need a title deed for land, but did you know you can also get to own a river?

The Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese has acquired the legal document to own a man-made river whose source stretches from the Aberdare ranges.

River Kaglondon gets its water from River Muringato at the Aberdares before it splits to Mathari at a village known as Nyarugumu.

The river covers two acres before going back to its river source through a hill farm in the area.

The name ‘Kalondon’ in the Gikuyu language simply means a small river.


It was made by the Consolata missionaries who had just settled in Mathari constituency in 1902 and has been flowing ever since.

The missionaries were given the land by the government and needed water for their domestic use.

They also needed to generate electricity for a missionary hospital and school.

It also provided water to a farm of about 3,000 acres in which the missionaries planted tea and coffee besides setting up a coffee factory.

When the missionaries left the country, the Archdiocese of Nyeri formalised the ownership by acquiring a title deed of the river and the land in which the river passes through.

The title deed secures it from any damage or contamination by the residents.

It also ensures that no farming activity happens near the canal hence its future life is assured.

There are, however, challenges that come with owning a river, the major one being siltation.

Illegal tapping is also another problem as regulations indicate that one should not tap the water using a pipe that is more than two-inch diameter, but some of the residents tap the water even with a four-inch diameter pipe.