Phase one of the Kariminu 2 mega-dam project was flagged off, on Tuesday, in Gatundu, after National Lands Commission Chairman, Mohammed Swazuri, affirmed the final payout of Ksh1.2 billion to households that will be relocated.
The chairman led the award process at Kiriko coffee factory where he assured the estimated 2000 residents affected by the first phase of the project, of the government's commitment to allow them ample relocation time.
Swazuri went on to affirm that the final funds had been disbursed and would reflect in the relevant accounts not later than February 11, 2018.
The area Deputy County Commissioner, Brexton Mayambi, who was also present, assured residents that only genuine landowners would be compensated as they had put up systems in place to counter any fraudulent individuals.
The mammoth project is expected to take 36 months at a cost of Ksh24 billion and is one among several multi-billion initiatives set to be undertaken in President Kenyatta’s home area.
Phase one of the project will sit on 181 acres while the second phase will take up 301 acres of land.
The estimated 5000 households that will be displaced by the entire project will be compensated with alternative land in addition to crops and structure remuneration.
On completion, the dam is expected to ease the perennial water problem in both Kiambu and Nairobi counties, as it is expected to serve 850,000 households.
This colossal project is in line with Deputy President William Ruto’s pledge to launch multi-billion projects in his boss' backyard when he visited the area early 2018 during a funeral at Gathiru-ini, Githunguri constituency.
He assured the residents that the State had set aside Ksh50 billion to fund mega water projects in the county.
Some of the other initiatives gazetted for implementation in the area are; Ksh17 billion Ruiru 2 Dam in Githunguri, Ksh1.5 billion Gakukuyu-Mataara road, two dams in Kinale & Lari Constituency and Ksh800 million rehabilitation of the 23-kilometre Kwamaiko-Marige-Gathiru-ini road in Githunguri.
Others include; Ksh17 billion 16-kilometre Western Bypass that will pass through Gitaru-Ndenderu-Wangige to Ruaka, Ksh4 billion 47-kilometre Ruiru-Githunguri-Uplands road and Ksh16 billion 25-kilometre James Gichuru-Rironi road.