, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – The Government on Friday said Ndakaini Dam only acts as a buffer storage and not the main source of water for Nairobi County.
This follows public outcry over the continued water rationing in the city, despite the ongoing heavy rains in most parts of the country.
Ndakaini Dam water levels remain low, but Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui says it only supplements water levels in River Chania during the dry season, as the main source for Ngethu Treatment Waterworks.
The dam draws its water from three rivers hailing from the Aberdare Ranges and that is where the problem is, according to the Cabinet Secretary.
“All the dam levels are entirely dependent on recharge from river water which is contributed by rainfall in the Aberdare catchment and as such, the degradation of the catchment and climatic changes have been a contributor to low rain levels as recorded through the metrological departments over the past a few years,” the CS said.
He refuted claims that the dam water was being lost to cracks and open valves.
He told journalists Friday that Nairobi operates on a water deficit but that is set to drastically change once the Northern corridor water tunnel is functional in a year’s time.
Once functional, the Northern collector tunnel will add some relief to the deficit with an additional of 140 million cubic meters in a day.
The tunnel will be operational next year.
But before then, he said there is no cause for alarm since Sasumua and Ruiru dams combined have a storage capacity of 89 million cubic meters.
Nairobi needs a total of 770 million cubic meters of water a day but the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company only manages to supply about 520 million cubic meters with a deficit of 250 million cubic meters.
When functional, the Ndakaini Dam produces 430,000m3 per day of water which is about 84 per cent of a total supply of water to Nairobi residents.
The dam is operated by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company.
Water from the dam is usually conveyed through a system of tunnels running from the dam, tapping Kiama River and Kimakia River and diverting the flows to Chania River at the Mwagu Outfall.
Water is tapped from Chania River at Mwagu and conveyed via a tunnel to the Mataara chamber from where it’s conveyed by pipelines to Ngethu water production plant.
It has a storage capacity of 70,000,000m3 (70 billion litres) at full storage level of 2,041 meters above sea level and a depth average of 65m.
When functional, the dam produces 430,000m3 per day of water that is about 84 per cent of a total supply of water to Nairobi residents.
The dam’s catchment area measures 75 square kilometres, which consists of Kimakia and Gatare natural forest which forms Aberdare Ranges.