The Chairman of the Nairobi Dam Restoration Taskforce, Bartonjo Chesaina, who divulged the news to the media today, revealed that the dam will be transformed into a recreational center, according to a report by Capital FM.
Since 2004, Kenyan authorities have launched three major attempts to sanitize the dam. However, these initiatives have met several challenges that prevented their completion.
Reports indicate that the dam, which was once a vacation spot and hosted water sports, has since degenerated into a site for dumping both solid and liquid waste from nearby slums.
This has in turn created a rich mix of micro-organisms conducive to the growth of plants. Many slum dwellers have reportedly taken advantage of this to establish farms on the dam.
Officials have, meanwhile, noted that the presence of farms and water weeds in the dam has supported a rise in illegal activities around the reservoir.
Many commentators have since criticized the government’s failure to involve local communities in various initiatives related to the dam as a major cause of their failure.
However, Mr. Chesaina has told the media that “Our strategy this time is to involve the surrounding communities.”
Reports indicate that the clean up exercise, which will begin in June, will last up to 3 years and is expected to cost about Sh700 million to Sh1 billion.
Kenya is regarded as a relatively water scarce nation in comparison to her neighbors. Reports indicate that the 98,422 cubic meters dam was originally built in 1953 to provide quick water supply to the county in times of scarcity. However, the population of the city has since overgrown its capacity, eventually leading to its abandonment.
Commentators have suggested that the dam is used to promote water sports, as well as serving as a source of water for the city once again.