The Water Resources Authority Chairman Hon. Joe Mutambu accompanied by WRA CEO Mr. Mohamed Shurie visited Ondiri Swamp in Kikuyu, Kiambu County with the purpose of planting 7000 trees along its banks.
While addressing members of the public Hon Joe Mutambu emphasized on the importance of Ondiri Swamp to the surrounding Kikuyu area, Nairobi River as well as Mwache dam- acting as a ground water recharge area, water purifier and a habitat for flora and fauna.
However, increased encroachment by farmers on the periphery of the swamp, illegal water abstraction, effluent discharge from Kikuyu Town and harvesting green grass within it for fodder has exacerbated the conservation efforts.
The Chairman noted that most of the aquifers around Nairobi are drying up highlighting the importance of Ondiri Swamp as a key source of Nairobi River. This, he said, necessitated the need to protect the resource to ensure Nairobi County residents have access to adequate ground water.
Hon. Joe Mutambu reiterated that those found encroaching on the swamp would face the full force of the law.
On his part, Mr Shurie said there were plans in motion to have the swamp fenced, to ensure its survival.
“There have been efforts to protect and conserve the Kikuyu Springs Groundwater Conservation Area which the Ondiri Swamp is a part of through The Water Resources Authority. The ultimate goal is to fence the 3.3km2 and gazette the Groundwater Conservation Area to ensure that management guidelines for the health of the whole recharge area are observed.” Said Mr. Mohamed Shurie. WRA has set aside Ksh5 million in the current financial year to fence 3.3km2 that the Ondiri Swamp sits on. The Authority plans to engage the Local community through the Onkaru Water Resources Users Association (WRUA) to undertake the fencing project.