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SUSTAINABLE MAJOR WATER INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT


Eastern and Southern Africa



CASE STUDY
SASUMUA DAM WATER PROJECT
NYANDARUA DISTRICT
KENYA



JUNE 2011

PREPARE BY:
J. M. Gichobi
Principal Lecturer
Kenya Water Institute
jmgichobi@yahoo.com

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Contents
1. BACKGROUND OF SASUMUA DAM WATER PROJECT ..................................................................... 1
1.1 LOCATION OF SASUMUA DAM ............................................................................................... 1
1.2 BRIEF HISTORY OF SASUMUA DAM ........................................................................................ 1
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF SASUMUA DAM REHABILITATION PROJECT .................................................... 1
2. TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF SASUMUA DAM REHABILITATION PROJECT ............................................ 2
2.1 OVERVIEW OF SUSUMUA DAM .............................................................................................. 2
2.2 TYPE OF PROJECT AND JUSTIFICATION ................................................................................... 2
2.3 SIZE AND MAGNITUDE OF THE PROJECT ................................................................................ 3
3. SASUMUA AND ITS ENVIROMENTAL SETTING ................................................................................ 4
3.1 CLIMATE AND PHYSICAL FEATURES ........................................................................................ 4
3.2 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ....................................................................................... 6
3.3 WATER RESOURCES ................................................................................................................ 7
3.4 PUBLIC SAFETY ........................................................................................................................ 7
4. ENVIROMENTAL IMPACTS OF THE REHABILITATION OF SASUMUA DAM ...................................... 9
4.1 POLICY AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ........................................... 9
4.2 ANTICIPATED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS ........................................................................... 11
5. MITIGATION MANAGEMENT ........................................................................................................ 16
5.1 ACTION PLAN OUTLINE ......................................................................................................... 16
5.2 CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................................... 21

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1. BACKGROUND OF SASUMUA DAM WATER PROJECT
1.1 LOCATION OF SASUMUA DAM
Sasumua Dam is located in south Kinangop Division of Nyanadrua District in central
province. The Dam site is within a distance of about 90km North west of Nairobi and
about 5km from Njabini township. The dam is at an elevation of about 2,400m above
sea level and its location lies within 0
o
45 S and 36
o
41 E. Njabini Township is to
the west, and public institutions are found to the west and east of the Dam. The
southern side of the dam is a section of the expansive Aberdare forest running into
Muranga district far to the south east.
1.2 BRIEF HISTORY OF SASUMUA DAM
Sasumua Dam and the associated facilities were constructed in 1956. The about 40m high
earth and rockfill dam is located on the Sasumua River. From 1966 to 1968 the crest of the
dam embankment was raised by almost 8m while the lateral spillway weir crest was raised
by about 6.4 m. This increased the storage capacity to 16 million cubic meters of raw water.
Corresponding expansion was carried out progressively of the treatment works at Sasumua
and of the treated water transmission mains to Nairobi.
Exceptionally heavy rains in the beginning of May 2003 caused massive damage to the
Sasumua Dams reinforced concrete spillway. This also resulted in the surrender of potential
reservoir capacity, as the dam water level had to be reduced to approximately 10 m below
the full supply level. This resulted in the storage capacity falling to 6 million cubic metres.
Due to the extensive damage of the spillway, urgent measures were required to secure the
safety of the dam and all the associated permanent structures.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF SASUMUA DAM REHABILITATION PROJECT
The Kiserian dam project was initially supposed to supply water to Kiserian, Ngong, Ongata
Rongai, Isinya and Kajiado townships. But Athi Water Services Board has mentioned in its
strategic plan that they intend to have separate schemes for Isinya and Kajiado towns.
The key principles of the Sasumua dam Rehabilitation Project are:
To restore the image of the public service /utility strongly deteriorated following the
damages which occurred in 2003 and induced long periods of failure in water supply
To restore the spillway resources necessary to safely operate the Sasumua dam as an
efficient source of water supply.
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To insure that no major physical constraint or natural hazards threaten the plant
operation or that no major equipment breakdown is to fear
To provide all necessary tools to insure that the dam will be operated and managed
according to international principles of dam safety.
2. TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF SASUMUA DAM REHABILITATION PROJECT
2.1 OVERVIEW OF SUSUMUA DAM
Sasumua Dam is one of the key water supply sources for the City of Nairobi. The dam,
completed in 1968 to the existing level, has a total catchment area of about 110Km
2
with the
main source being the Sasumua river. Other sources include Chania and Kiburu rivers which
are tapped at their highest level in the catchment. The three source rivers (Sasumua, Chania
and Kiburu) have their sources in the Abardares and have adequate water to maintain
acceptable levels in the dam that has a design capacity of about 15,000,000m
3
with a
discharge of approximately 5m
3
/sec, and supplies water to the treatment plant that has a
capacity of 6,500m
3
/day.
The dam embankment standing at approximately 41m from the basement (about 2,496m
above sea level has a spillway standing at about 39m from the floor to maintain a capacity of
15,000,000m
3
in the dam.

Sasumua dam Embankment and the reservoir
2.2 TYPE OF PROJECT AND JUSTIFICATION
In May 2003, the spillway collapsed as a result of heavy rains. The right embankment of the
spillway gave in to water pressure and weakened foundation creating uncontrollable flow
into spillway and the channel downstream. This caused significant damages to the spillway
lining and river crossings downstream in addition to massive soil erosion. The incident also
had the potential to cause weakness to the dam embankment section adjoining the spillway.
In order to contain the flows at the spillway, the wash out valve at the bottom of the dam is
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used for the water level control, but the level has to be kept at approximately 10m below
the design level. However, this has not affected the output from the treatment plant.
Following the damages, there was need for elimination of possibilities of additional
structural failure at the dam by carrying out rehabilitation works as part of the Nairobi
Water and Sewerage Physical Investment Project.
2.3 SIZE AND MAGNITUDE OF THE PROJECT
The rehabilitation works comprises the following;
(i) Rehabilitation of the spillway,
(ii) Reviewing the dam embankment by re-installing appropriate
monitoring equipments, review dam safety status and correct any
weakness established,
(iii) Reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of the structures and
components destroyed by the land slides. It will also involve taking
measures to protect the water treatment components from future
landslides and poor drainage.
(iv) Rehabilitation of the roads and relating drainage leading to the dam
and treatment plant.

Rehabilitation works in progress and partially completed works
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3. SASUMUA AND ITS ENVIROMENTAL SETTING
3.1 CLIMATE AND PHYSICAL FEATURES
1) Topography
Nyandarua District is partly constituted by the Aberdares (highest point at 3,999m) with
South Kinangop Division where the dam is location is at the foothills of the mountains.
The immediate area around the dam slopes to the south-east direction through steep
valleys that partly constitute the Chania river. A sharp rise to the east of the treatment
plant constitutes the ascent to the Aberdares.
2) Drainage and Hydrology
The drainage of the area reflects considerable adjustment to the structure and
interruptions especially by earth movements and volcanic lava flows. These activities
interrupted the normal drainage development. The drainage pattern is parallel and sub-
parallel (on the Aberdares and Kikuyu dislopes) with the most significant effects on the
dislope area being the development of the ridged topography.
3) Vegetation and Wildlife
(i). Flora
Most of the vegetation outside of the gazetted forests has been cleared to give way
for agriculture and settlement. However, some exotic tree species, shrubs and an
assortment of weeds are found in some parts.
(ii). Kinangop Forest
Kinangop forest constitutes the main catchment for the streams that supply the
Sasumua Dam. This is a montane tropical forest with a wide diversity of flora and
fauna. The forest covers a total of 6660 ha. Out of this, 5064 ha is protected natural
forest while about 1503 ha is plantation mainly of pines and cypress. However, out
of this total acreage about 20% has been degraded in the past ten years largely
through illegal logging and uncontrolled shamba system (forest cultivation as a
mode of plantation establishment). The forest is dominated by indigenous bamboo,
Arundinaria alpina, which nearly forms monoculture in some parts. The dominance
of bamboo is due to altitudinal influence. The ecology and physiology of bamboo
makes it a suitable vegetation cover for water catchments because of its soil
stabilization properties resulting from its horizontal root architecture and shallow
rooting system.
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Kinangop forest next to Sasumua dam
(iii). Fauna
Faunal diversity is dominated by the African elephant which are specifically attracted
by the large expanse of bamboo, their favourite food. The black and white colobus
monkey is also very common in the area. Less common animals include a few
ungulates. Some small population of trout has been reported upstream.

(iv). Management of the Catchment
The land on which the dam is located together with the entire Kinangop catchment
is owned by the Forest Department. Up to around year 2000, the Nairobi City
Council, which was the water undertaker and the operator of the dam used to
contribute funds towards the management of the catchment. Currently, the Nairobi
Water Company does not have a clear policy on the management of the catchment,
apart from some ad hoc interventions. This implies that the company does not have
a say on the management of the land on which its dam is located as well as the
catchment from where water is abstracted.
4) Geology and Soils
Sasumua area is underlain with lava sheets and pyroclastic sediments formed during
intense volcanic activities followed by long periods of inactivity. This period of inactivity
has reduced the rocks into decomposed rock and residual clays, for depths of up to 30
50m. The soils are of red clayey loamy types formed from weathering of this rock and
with deposition of humic organic matter over year of forest cover. The most dominant
soils in the Kinangop area vary from well to poorly drained and deep to moderately deep
and are dark grayish brown. They are moderate to highly fertile. Soils in the lower
altitudes are wet and also highly fertile. The composition impacts natural fertility to the
layer of the soil that sits on a loose weathered rock whose thickness varies from one
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point to another over the area. This perhaps explains why the area is prone to land slides
i.e. a combination of loosely held soils and steep slopes exposed through deforestation.

5) Temperatures
The Aberdares are relatively cool with the mean temperature of 15.0
0
C, a minimum
temperature of 7.1
0
C and maximum of 21.5
0
C. The hottest months are December and
January. Low temperatures characterize most of the year as expected water loses from
the dam and river through evaporation are minimum. However, with deforestation,
more water surface is exposed to direct sunshine enhancing evaporation and increase
soil and rock weathering. The weather station at the dam site is not properly situation
for effective measurement of climatic data.

6) Rainfall
Rainfall in Nyandarua District decreases rapidly from the west with the annual average
diminishing more that 1,400mm at the foot of the mountains to 700,, in the valley of
Malewa river. Data obtained from the South Kinangop forest station at about 3.5Km
North of the dam gives a annual mean of 1,453mm and a maximum average over 24h
period of 73mm that was calculated over a period of 30 years. The wettest months
March-May and October to November. The mean annual rainfall at the dam has been
estimated at 1400mm while the entire catchment area has 155 mm of rainfall.

3.2 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
1) Human Settlement
Land subdivisions in the area to the western, northwestern and southwestern of the
dam is characterized with a rural settlement trends. With land parcels per family ranging
2 acres to 5 acres, homesteads are found particularly along the main roads and side
roads. Most homes have permanent houses, though a few have semi-temporary
structures. Towards Njabini Township, the land parcel sizes decrease to less than 1 acres
per family within a transition zone from settlement to commercial institutional (schools
and Churches) buildings. No settlements were noted to the south and eastern sides of
the dam site that is covered by the Aberdare forest.
2) Agricultural Activities
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The land to the north and west of the dam is well cultivated with main crops including,
maize, potatoes and vegetables. In addition to cultivation, livestock (dairy cattle and
sheep) keeping also constitute a major source of income. As earlier indicated,
agricultural production is favoured by the high and reliable rainfall, abundant water and
the fertile, well drained soils of the Aberdare slopes.
3) Urban Development
The nearest Urban center is Njabini at about 5Km to the north of the dam site. Njabini
Township with a population of approximately 2,000 people lies across the main Chania
river valley and other minor valleys with seasonal or low flow streams.
4) Land Ownership
The entire dam and associated treatment works, staff houses and other installations are
located on land owned by the Forest Department. The land immediately bordering the
dam is owned as followed;
(i) Western sides are freehold ownership and habited by either households or
institutions (at least one school to the northwest and a primary school to the
west),
(ii) The land to the north, south and eastern side is mainly under public forest cover.
In the past, forest cultivation and uncontrolled logging were common in the
forest. However this has since ceased to allow for forest recovery.

3.3 WATER RESOURCES
Nyandarua District is one of the water rich district in the country with the main sources are
surface bodies including streams from the raised grounds that give respect relatively clean
water that is also conveniently situated with respect to most households. Among the key
streams within Sasumua include, Kiburu, Sasumua, Chania, and numerous spring in the
valleys.
There is potential for ground water in the district with average depth of 126m and maximum
depths of 300m. Ground recharge is enhanced by heavy rainfall throughout the year and the
numerous lines of weakness in the base rock that have resulted from faulting allowing
porosity and easy water percolation.
3.4 PUBLIC SAFETY
The dam site has been accepted by the community, who have chosen to live with it and is
surrounded in most sides (see above section on land use) by ordinary rural land users, Apart
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from a few sections with notable fences, it is difficult to tell the boundary between the dam
area and other land users. The safety of the public with respect to the dam could therefore,
not be ascertained.
Downstream of the dam are the water treatment plant and the staff houses, all who are
directly along the route of water should the dam accidentally break. There is no settlement
or human activities immediately downstream of the treatment plant. There is, however,
potential threat to life and property far downstream after the forest as the river enters into
the densely populated parts downstream.

No fence between the community farms and the resevoir
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4. ENVIROMENTAL IMPACTS OF THE REHABILITATION OF SASUMUA DAM
4.1 POLICY AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
1) General Overview
Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) as a tool for environmental conservation has been
identified worldwide as a key component of all new projects.
At the national level, Kenya has put in place necessary legislation that requires EIA be
carried out on every new project. The Environmental Management and Coordination
Act, 1999, direct that the proponent of a project undertake an EIA study and prepare a
report thereof for presentation to the National Environmental Management Authority
(NEMA) for the necessary approval and issue of licence. Besides, a number of other
national policies and legal statutes have been reviewed to enhance environmental
sustainability in national development projects across all sectors.
To facilitate this process, regulations on EIA and environmental audits have been
established under the Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 56 of 13
th
June 2003. Some of the
policy and legal provisions are briefly presented in the following sub-sections
2) National Environmental Action Plan
According to the Kenya National Environment Action Plan (NEAP, 1994) the Government
recognized the negative impacts on ecosystems emanating from economic and social
development programmes that disregarded environmental sustainability. In this regard,
establishment of appropriate policies and legal guidelines as well as harmonization of
the existing ones have been accomplished and/or are in the process of development.
Under the NEAP process EIA was introduced and among the key participants identified
were the institutions dealing with water resources management.
Under chapter 4 subsection 4.1.3, the NEAP report recommends that EIA be made a pre-
condition for approval of water related projects as well as post investments impact
assessment for all water related operations.
3) National policy on water Resources Management and development
The sessional paper No. 1 of 1999 on the National Policy on Water Resources
Management and Development recognizes the effects of uneven distribution of water in
the country caused by diverse activities in the catchments. The effects include reduction
and deterioration of area under forest, siltation of water sources, increased surface run-
10

off, erratic water, water balance and groundwater recharge characteristics. Following on
this, therefore, the government undertakes to conserve water when and where it occurs
and regulate its utilization to benefit as many people and sectors as possible
4) Policy on Environment and Development
This is presented as the sessional paper No. 6 of 1999 on Environment and
Development. The overall goal is to integrate environmental concerns into the national
planning and management process and provide guidelines for environmentally
sustainable development. Under section 4.3 of the document, Provision of potable
water and water for sanitation is viewed as being central to satisfying basic human
needs It is also to indicated that the current water development programmes focus
almost entirely on water delivery with little concern for demand management and
conservation. Water resources have an extremely high value and effective mechanisms
for managing and conserving water could result unto economic benefits as well as
sustainable use of this vital resource.
5) The Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999
Part II of the Environment Management & Coordination Act, 1999 states that every
person in Kenya is entitled to a clean and healthy environment and has the duty to
safeguard and enhance the environment.
6) The Water Act, 2002
Part II section 3 of the water Act states that every water resources are vested in the
state, subject to any rights of user granted by or under the Act, while section 5 vests the
right to use water from any resource to minister unless alienated by or under the Act.
7) The Public Health Act (cap.242)
Part IX section 115 states that no person shall cause nuisance or condition liable to be
injurious or dangerous to human health. Section 116 requires Local Authorities to take
all lawful, necessary and reasonably practicable measures to maintain their jurisdiction
clean and sanitary to prevent occurrence of nuisance or condition liable for injurious or
dangerous to human health.
8) The Penal Code (Cap. 63)
Section 191 of the Penal Code states that any person who voluntarily corrupts or foils
water for public springs or reservoirs, rendering it less fit for its ordinary use is guilty of
an offence. Section 192 of the same act says a person who makes or vitiates the
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atmosphere in any place to make it noxious to health of persons in dwellings or business
premises in the neighborhood or those passing along public way, commit an offence.
9) The Physical Planning Act
The Local Authorities are empowered under section 29 the Act to reserve and maintain
all land planned for open spaces , parks, urban forests and green belts. The same
section, therefore, allows for prohibition or control the use and development of land
and buildings in the interest of proper and orderly development of an area.
4.2 ANTICIPATED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
1) Impacts on Water Quality
(i). Siltation
The water quality at source is expected to be fresh and virtually free from any
contamination. However, due to recent human activities in the catchment areas,
water at the main intake points was found to have increased levels of sediments.
Unless this situation is arrested at source, the dam is also likely to receive increased
siltation effectively reducing its holding capacity. About 80% of the dam surface run-
off catchment is highly cultivated effectively increasing the level of siltation of the
dam during the rains. However, there has never been any deliberate initiative to
assess the rate of siltation in the dam, intake silt loading or even the status of
immediate river bed downstream of the dam spillway. The previous spillway did not
have a silt control mechanism either.
Excessive silt deposition in the dam implies the following
The overflow into the downstream sections of the river will also have
increased suspended solids that will settle down gradually in the river for
considerable distances downstream ,
The water treatment process will consume high amounts of flocculants
hence high treatment costs,
Loss of fertile soils and nutrients into the dam and the downstream river
channel.
(ii). chemicals
Sasumua Dam is situated within an agricultural area, and no industrial activity was
observed in the entire area. Chemical contamination of water would, therefore, be
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confined within the agro-based and domestic sources. The possible pollutants would
include;
Nutrients such as to nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, potassium and sodium
complexes,
Human residuals such as to include humic matter, plant matter etc.,
Aerial deposition from burning and dust.

(iii). Biological
Water in the streams and the dam itself as well as the river down is exposed to
contamination as follows;
Animal droppings in the forest,
Direct and indirect infiltration of bacterial contamination from residential
areas, institutional facilities and animals accessing the streams and the dam
edges (see plates),
There is a possibility that the dam could have slightly higher bacterial level
than the stream downstream.
Effects would be increased cost of chlorination at the water treatment plant, while direct
dependants of the river downstream. Available data is only on water treated water.
2) Impact on Hydrology
It has already been indicated that the intake from both Kiburu streams takes almost all
water into the dam leaving none or negligible flows in the original stream beds, while it
was estimated that the Chania intake takes more than 75% of the natural stream flow. A
major effect from this would be compromised ecosystems in the natural stream flood
plains and denying the direct dependants of the streams the opportunity to get
sufficient water. It was observed that none of the source streams are installed with flow
rate measuring devices. It is, therefore, not possible to estimate the percentage of flow
that is taken in for treatment to enable adjustment for sustenance.
3) Impact on Soil and Land
Impacts on land and soil quality upstream of the dam are associated more with the
prevailing land practices through clearance of vegetation and cultivation of steep slopes and
the dam ahs no direct effect. The dam however, acts as storage for soil that is slowly
released downstream into the river valley. Land use upstream of the dam also contributes to
increased costs of water treatment. No significant direct effects on land and soil are also
expected from the road rehabilitation.
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4) Impact on Biodiversity
Flora
Rehabilitation of the dam will involve construction works that will be accompanied by
clearance of vegetation in some parts of the site. Workers housed in camps may also cut
trees and other woody vegetation for cooking purposes. Impact of the project on
vegetation is thus very specific to the site and therefore localized hence the impact is
not expected to be major. Generally, potential impacts on wildlife are negligible.
Fauna
Generally, potential impacts on wildlife are negligible, especially during construction.
Nevertheless, since the perimeter fence had been destroyed in some parts, elephants
have often used the dam as a reliable watering point all season. Once the fence has
been reconstructed, the elephants will be kept out and this may cause the animals to
invade private farms and homesteads, especially in the dry season. The potential impact
is therefore indirect on the neighborhood as opposed to the animals.
5) Impacts on Human Settlement Patterns and Land Use
No direct impact is expected on human settlement and land use. However, there is
substantial grazing in the area around the dam, especially in the dry season when
pasture is scarce elsewhere. The animals also drink from the dam. Drowning of animals
has been reported, and this can cause serious contamination of water. Keeping away
livestock through fencing of the dam can also create conflict with the locals.
6) Impacts on Agricultural Activities
Some local farmers have been diverting water from inlet and conveyance pipes for both
domestic consumption and irrigation. If rehabilitation will involve streamlining water
delivery into the dam, then the farmers who have depended on these illegally tapped
water will be disadvantaged.
7) Impacts on Public Health and Safety
Intakes
These are the sources of water, all located in the forest. While there are no notable
sources of contamination at the intakes, the current status of the related infrastructure
do pose some potential impacts on safety. These include;

14

(i) The intakes are not fenced and there is easy access by people and animals risking
their life and contamination of the water,
(ii) Raised platforms and structure at the intakes are not fitted with guard rails for the
safety of the operators, visitors and stray members of the public,
(iii) Access roads to the intakes points are not well maintained, especially when it rains
which may impede rapid rescue efforts in the event of any accident.
The Dam
Like the intakes points, the entire dam is not fenced and most sections are easily
accessible to members of the public, their children and animals. This situation poses a
direct hazard to safety as it is possible to drown, especially so for children.
It was, however, observed that the topography around the dam do not allow flooding
considering that the nearest homestead is approximately 100m from the edge of the
dam a relative at elevation of about 20m above the dam. The area is prone to land slides
and this presents a threat to the neighbouring land users, especially during construction
when earth movers may trigger land slides.
The lower embankment of the dam is directly upstream of the water treatment plant
(with approximately 70 workers) and staff quarters comprising of 72 units all fully
occupied by about 143 residents. Potential hazards anticipated include;
(i) Accidental drowning in the dam of people, their children and animals,
(ii) Potential risks to the safety of the people and installations in case of accidental damage to
the dam embankment. This position relates to the dam potential land slides in the area,
(iii) Land users downstream of the treatment plant are also at risk of destruction of life and
property in the event of an accidental dam breakdown. The population at risk is in areas
such as Kiambu, Thika, Ndakainini, Gatanga, Mangu, Yatta and upto Masinga dam.
(iv) Public amenities downstream including water intakes, water pipes, bridges, roads, etc.
would also be at risk.
Members of the public may choose to use the dam water directly for their needs. The
water is untreated and any contamination will directly affect their health.
8) Social Issues
It has been observed that Sasumua dam has more of social issues than the physical
environment. Many are the residents who expressed concern that the water abstracted
from the rivers in the area is transported to Nairobi leaving no benefit to the local
communities. On the other hand, it is the desire of the Nairobi Water Company to co-
15

exist with the community, since this water determines the safety of the water sources
and the water quality.
1
6

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1
8


d
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2
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f
a
c
i
l
i
t
y
.


21

5.2 CONCLUSION
Following on the findings of this assessment, the conclusions below have been arrived at;
(i) The environmental issues related to the proposed rehabilitation are more social in
nature, and particularly with regard to safety of the immediate neighbourhood and land
users downstream. The experience of the spillway breaking in 2003 raises concerns on
the potential risks associated with accidental break of the entire dam to the ecological
systems, settlements, agricultural activities, public amenities (water intakes, water
pipes, bridges, roads, power lines, etc.). It was observed that this could have far reaching
effects for hundreds of kilometers upto Masinga Dam on River Tana. This scenario calls
for an intensive monitoring of the Chania river basin characteristics, land use trends,
quantification of the related risks. This monitoring will enable collection of data and
information over reasonable duration of time for modeling of the basin in terms of
hydrological, land use changes, soil types variations, topography, vegetation cover and
other climatic situations. This is the responsibility of the Water Services Board and
Nairobi Water Company,
(ii) The water intake points constitute the backbone of the entire system and deserve
prioritized attention. Most of the points have not been repaired with at least one
completely abandoned. There are serious environmental health and safety issues
related to the intake points that require to be addressed as a matter of urgency. These
include installation of water level gauges, suitable gates to allows at least 30% of the
base flows into the natural streams, guard rails and silt traps,
(iii) Sections of the open channels carrying water into the dam have been neglected leading
to loss of water through seepage, exposing the water contamination from points
sources, risking the lives of the public (especially their children and animals). In this
connection, it will be necessary to fence the channels as appropriate while establishing
ways of liaising with the communities for enhanced safety of the channels and
themselves. Consider providing platforms for safe water abstraction by the communities
and troughs for watering their animals, both of which will not have to interfere with the
quality of the channel water and its banks,
(iv) The dam also poses certain potential safety threats to the immediate neighbourhood,
and particularly drowning. The dam would require to be fenced and accessibility be
outsiders and animals restricted. Data and information on the hydrological (water levels,
inflow trends, soil characteristics etc.) and other climatic conditions should be obtained
over a reasonable duration of time. Regarding the latter, water levels gauges and simple
22

weather stations may be installed at strategic locations around the dam. Other facilities
including piezometers for monitoring of the dam embankment should also be installed,
(v) It is recommended that the existing spillway be rehabilitated as opposed to the new
route. The old line has already been tested and has adapted to heavy hydraulic loads
and it is also easy to deal with any emergency along this route. The new one, however,
has not been subjected to high flows. One of the impacts anticipated for this route is
washing down of decayed vegetations and top soils to the downstream river bed, that
may last for a long time at the expense of the immediate and downstream dependants
of the river,
(vi) The water treatment needs to be protected against the potential land slide from the
eastern and north eastern sides of the site. The ongoing works seems to loosen the
ground increasing the danger. A combination of geological assessment and suitable
landscaping will be necessary,