Mike Sonko: History of Dams serving Nairobi

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THIKA DAM (Ndakaini)

Thika dam occupies 1,200 acres of land in Murang’a County and has a storage capacity of 70,000,000 cubic millions of water. The dam is fed by three main rivers; Thika river, Kayuyu and Githika river. The rivers originate from Aberdare mountains abutting Kiambu and Murang’a counties.

The dam augments Chania river water flows, to sustain water production at Ngethu Water Treatment Works, for transmission to Nairobi County. During transmission to Nairobi County about 20,000 M3/Day is supplied to Kiambu County.



The Thika dam – Chania River – Ngethu Water Treatment Works nexus is such that water is only discharged from the dam when Chania river flows fall below the production capacity of Ngethu.

Sasumua Dam.

Sasumua dam is located in North of Njambini, South Kinangop, Nyandarua county, and also within Aberdare forest. The dam was commissioned in 1956 and while the downstream works of pipelines completed and commissioned in 1961.

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The dam has a storage capacity of 15.96 cubic millions of water. Through a letter of allotment, Ref.No. 40397/11/155 of 16th May 1963 of 99 years, Sasumua dam storage area, Kiburu and Chania intakes, protected area forest areas, pipeline wayleaves and staff quarters was established on several parcels of land comprising 1494 acres. The land is owned by the Nairobi city county for public use.

Ruiru Dam

Ruiru dam is located in Githunguri sub-county, Kiambu county. The dam was commissioned in 1937 and has a storage capacity of 2.9 cubic millions of water. The dam sits on a 147 acres of land that has a leasehold interest for the residue term of 72 years, five months, with effect from 1st may 1963. The land is owned by the Nairobi city county for public use.

Kikuyu Springs

Kikuyu springs are located, 2Km East of Kikuyu Town Centre, Kikuyu sub-county, Kiambu county. The springs were commissioned in 1911 and comprise 3 parcels of land occupying 31 acres of land. The land is owned by the Nairobi city county for public use

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Under the constitution of Kenya 2010, article 62(i) all rivers, lakes and other water bodies as defined by clause 62(3) is public land vested in and be held by the national government in trust for the people of Kenya. The water resources is therefore managed and apportioned by the national government.

It should be understood that the Nairobi City County do not sell water but charge for the cost of making the water potable therefore we are not taxing water hence no revenue for sharing with anybody.

Acts of incitement being undertaken by various leaders against the drawing of water by Nairobi City County for distribution in Kiambu, Machakos and Nairobi City County can only be construed to be sabotage of the Republic of Kenya economic activities.

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