The Government is planning to construct 100 mega dams and another 1,000 small water reservoirs as one way of harvesting storm waters.
Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation CS Zachary Mwangi says seven of the dams will be built in the Central region to cushion the area against water scarcity during the dry season.
The CS who was speaking in Nyeri ahead of a planned tour of various water projects in the county said the government is partnering with both donors and international lenders to help in funding the ambitious program which has already been sanctioned by Cabinet.
“The Government is committed to setting up water projects which will mainly include dams. In this region (Central), we have about seven major dams that the government is committed to build and so we are sourcing for funds. As a government, we are committed to ensuring rainwater does not cause havoc. The other day the Cabinet passed (a resolution) that the Ministry (of Water) comes up with 100 mega dams and 1,000 smaller dams to ensure that we are able to harvest rainwater,” he told KNA.
His sentiments come at a time when Kenya is confronted with devastating floods from the ongoing El Nino rains that have seen more than 100 people lose their lives and another 189,000 displaced from their homes.
Among the worst affected counties include Tana River, Garissa, Mandera, and Wajir that have seen hundreds of families cut off from the rest of the country after raging floods destroyed major roads, and bridges and destroyed critical infrastructures like markets and communication installations.
Yesterday the National El Nino Emergency and Disaster Response Command Center chaired by Interior PS Raymond Omollo listed Isiolo, Kwale, Homa Bay, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Meru and Kisumu counties among areas likely to experience flooding.
To address the looming disaster, the PS said the Government has set up an information desk at Nyayo House to receive and respond to any emergency that may arise from the ongoing rains.
Mwangi also said the Government is working with County Governments to address the flooding menace including assessing the extent of damage to existing water projects that have been destroyed by the floods.
He cited Garissa as one of the counties that have borne the brunt of destruction in terms of the number of boreholes that have been destroyed and said every effort is being taken to make sure they are rehabilitated once the rains subside.
“There are several counties that have been affected and we had so many boreholes that have already been submerged like in Garissa where our water pumping infrastructure has been submerged. So, we are working to see that we work with the county government to rehabilitate the boreholes and other water infrastructure that have caused havoc in these areas,” he added.
“We are working in close collaboration with all development partners to ensure that what the government has planned to do is achieved. This is a collective responsibility between the government, private sector and development partners,” he stated