The perennial water shortage in parts of Nakuru and Baringo counties will soon end with the completion of the Sh3 billion Chemususu supply project.
The water is being sourced from Chemususu Dam which was commissioned in 2017.
Water Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has directed the contractor to accelerate the project and ensure it is complete by December 2020.
The project was initially set to be completed by April 30, 2020 but was slowed down by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
CS Kariuki, who inspected the project on Monday while accompanied by local leaders among them Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis, revealed that the project is currently 70 per cent complete.
"The project was slowed down by the Covid-19 due to the measures set by the Ministry of Health to end the spread of the disease. However, I have directed the contractor to engage an additional 120 workers to accelerate completion and actualise the project by December 2020," said Ms Kariuki.
Upon completion, the project will serve at least 600,000 people in Eldama Ravine, Mogotio, Emining town, Kampi ya Moto, Esageri, Muserechi, Kabimoi, Vivian, Visoi, Rosoga as well as Kabarak University and parts of Rongai Constituency in Nakuru County.
A spot check by the Nation established that work on the distribution project along the Nakuru-Eldama Ravine Road where the pipeline is passing ahead of the December completion, is gathering momentum.
At least 30 water reservoirs in Eldama Ravine and Mogotio in Baringo County and Rongai Sub-County in Nakuru are 70 per cent complete.
The project involves the completion of a water treatment project, effluent sludge waste treatment and storage reservoirs among other key installations.
It involves construction of reservoirs in Kabarak, Kiptoim, Kelelwa and Eldama Ravine.
A mega treatment plant has also been built at the Sh5.5 billion Chemususu Dam and most pipes that will supply the water also laid.
CS Kariuki, who was accompanied by Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Chief Administrative Secretary Andrew Tuimur, Central Rift Water Works Development Agency CEO Hosea Wendot and other officials from the ministry, said at least 10 reservoirs of different capacities are ready, while others are in various stages of construction.
"We want to make sure that the project is completed by December 2020 so that residents in these areas can start enjoying access to clean and uninterrupted water supply,” said Mrs Kariuki.
Chemususu Dam is a flagship project of the Jubilee administration and one its kind in the region.
In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the 45-metre high mega dam with a capacity of 12 million cubic metres of water.
Mr Wendot assured locals that the water supply project is firmly on course.
"It will be a big relief for locals considering that the area is normally dry and mostly relies on seasonal rivers,” said Mr Wendot.
More than 20 reservoirs of the dam are in Baringo County while the rest are in Nakuru.
The dam will help end the perennial water shortages and turn around the economy of the regions through irrigation.
The completion of Chemususu Dam in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County, three years ago raised hopes in the region of ending perennial water shortages and stimulating the local economies of Baringo and Nakuru.
Last year, the government announced it had set aside Sh4 billion for the supply of water from the dam to various parts of Baringo and Nakuru, including Mogotio, Emining and Rongai towns.
Chemususu Dam is located in Poror, in Koibatek District in the middle of the indigenous Chemususu Forest.
Baringo County now has two mega dams – Kirandich, situated in Kabarnet, Baringo Central with a holding capacity of four billion litres, and the Chemususu Dam.