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Please Assist Prevent Environmental Disasters That May Follow if Northern Collector Tunnel (NCT) in Aberdares Region-Kenya is Constructed In Its Proposed Form. 

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NCT Technical Committee Report 

 OUR ORGANIZATION:

The SaveAberdarerivers.org was started by concerned Murang’a County residents who understand the value of best river management practices.  Our vision is to protect all the rivers that flow from Nyandarua Mountain range (Aberdare) from opportunistic, unsustainable flow extraction and environmental degradation.

Unsustainable extraction consists ofdiverting excessive amounts of water from the rivers without making allowances for the domestic, livestock, agricultural (irrigation) and industrial water requirements for the downstream communities and also the flow to maintain the rivers in a healthy condition.

We are alarmed due to two large water projects by the Athi Water ServicesBoard (AWSB) to divert water from most of the Nyandarua water tower and pipe it to the Nairobi Metropolitan area.   Phase One of the projects, which are referred as the Northern Collector Tunnel (NCT) will collect about 140, 000 cubic meters per day from the Irati, Maragua and Gikigie rivers through a tunnel that is three meters wide in diameter.  This is a very large tunnel and even if all the three rivers are emptied into it, it won’t fill.  Phase Two would collect a similar volume from the North Mathioya, Hembe, Githugi and South Mathioya rivers. If the projects are constructed,   Murang’a County rivers might dry up or have flow similar to one seen during prolonged drought. This would harm the economy, social fabric and environment.  Like all other Kenyans, we desire the Metropolitan residents to have adequate water. However, the NCT projects appear to be exploitative, unbalanced, and would do more harm than good to Murang’a County among other counties.

Due to these concerns, on January 2015, Murang’a County residents convinced the County Government to commission an independent study of the Phase One NCT project. The Technical Committee submitted the report in April of 2015. We decided to act after reading and understanding the alarming, harmful consequences of the NCT project.  Below are quotations of some of the Findings and Conclusions.

v  Project will have long term impacts to 336,877 people in Murang’a who use the rivers.

v  Combined normal flow (Q80) in the three rivers is 267,800 cubic meters per day while (northern collector tunnel)  NCT average is 259,200 cubic meters per day, implying that the NCT project will divert more than 97% of the river flow during 90% of the year.

v  NCT abstraction as currently designed will result to 60% or approximately 216 days every year with zero or extremely low flow downstream.  This is equivalent to introducing perpetual drought in Murang’a County.

v  Tunneling may result to changes in the underground drainage and drying of springs and rivers.

v  Project planning has not demonstrated specific and tangible benefits to the people of Murang’a, nor has consultation with Murang’a taken place to determine nature, size and priority areas of benefit interventions.

v  Although the AWSB plans to construct a 3 meter diameter tunnel in a zone with numerous hills, valleys and streams that supply water to several hundred thousand Murang’a County residents, the committee stated that “drawing evidence from similar projects tunneling may result to changes in the underground drainage and drying of springs and rivers”.  Residents are very fearful that the tunneling will puncture underground aquifers and disrupt current flow paths to rivers and springs.

v  Hydro geological studies for the tunneling project were not availed in the Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Report, ESIA 1188.

For the complete Findings of the Committee, refer to : Links To Useful Documents

 

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To assist you learn more about the Organization and our mission, we have created a library of documents, reports, and photos of the Northern Collector Tunnel (NCT) project the targeted rivers and other community projects. We encourage all visitors to this website to view or read the documents. We will continue to add documents as they become available.

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