Public Consultations as Athi Water Seeks Entry into Bulk Water Service Provision
On Wednesday 8th March 2023, the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) held public participation on the licensing of this game-changing initiative, which aims to make Athi Water Works Development Agency a Bulk Water Service Provider through the mega Karimenu II Dam Water Supply System.
With a whopping 26.5 billion liter storage capacity dam, a water treatment plant that can treat up to 70 Million liters per day, 54.8 km of raw and treated water transmission pipeline, and two concrete water storage tanks in Ruiru and Juja with capacities of 23.5 Million liters and 5 million liters respectively, the Karimenu II Dam is set to significantly improve water supply.
The project, which started construction in May 2019, is now substantially complete and operational, and the reservoir level is already 45 meters high. The Karimenu II Dam Bulk Water Supply System is set to benefit over one million residents of Githurai, Gatundu, Ruiru, Juja, and parts of Nairobi, providing a reliable source of clean water for years to come.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Plans are already underway for additional works to supplement the system, including intake works and a 6 km Raw Water Transfer Pipeline to the Karimenu II Dam reservoir, expansion of the water treatment plant for an additional 20 million liters per day, and 14 km of treated water transmission pipelines to MaryHill Tank/ Thika Municipality reservoir in Ngoingwa. These expansion works will supply an additional 20,000m3/day to Thika and Gatundu areas and are expected to commence in March 2023 for a period of 12 months.
During the public consultation, the Principal Secretary Water and Sanitation, Dr. Paul Ronoh, reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to undertake the necessary legal and regulatory amendments to the Water Act 2016 to operationalize national public water works and undertake bulk investments under the PPP framework.
“The entry of Athi Water into this arena is timely, and I hope others will follow suit to ensure Kenyans access this basic commodity with ease,” he said.
With a proposed bulk water tariff of KShs. 36 per cubic meter (m3) of water, the Karimenu II Dam Bulk Water Supply System promises to provide a sustainable water supply to Water Service Providers. As a Bulk Water Service provider, Athi Water will be responsible for managing the dam, water treatment plant, and water transmission pipelines to the respective WSPs offtakes, and a smart bulk water meter will be installed at every offtake point.
The Karimenu II Dam Bulk Water Supply System is a true game-changer for Kenya’s water supply, and with successful public consultations, it won’t be long before this project starts operating at full capacity.
After the successful public consultations, the PS proceeded to inspect Karimenu II Dam, the water treatment plant, and Jacaranda intake.
He was accompanied by WASREB Ag. CEO Dr. Julius Itunga, AWWDA CEO Eng. Michael Mwangi Thuita, Managing Directors drawn from various Water Service Providers, and local administration among others.