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Northern water tunnel faces new controversy

Mathew Ndung’u @PeopleDailyKe

The Northern Water Collector Tunnel in Murang’a county is facing renewed controversy as residents claim they were short-changed during valuation of their land.

This comes as contractors finalise the laying of pipes taking water to Nairobi, which has raised fears among residents that their concerns will not be addressed.

Led by Simon Njoroge, whose coffee bushes were destroyed in the piping process, residents accused National Land Commission (NLC) of taking them for a ride.

Njoroge, who is now demanding Sh10.5 million compensation for his destroyed crop, said he will not give in to mistreatment at NLC offices as he sought clarification on why valuation was poorly done, adding that NLC ordered Sh 2,000 payment for every coffee tree felled.

The residents want President Uhuru to intervene  and unearth alleged corruption at NLC that has caused them anguish as well as steer the settlement of a better deal.

The controversial Sh6.8 billion tunnel is set to collect flood waters from Irati, Gikigie and Mathioya rivers to boost Ndakaini water supply to the capital.

A recommendation by Tropical Farm Management Kenya calculates the rightful compensation by taking into account the average income per tree annually, the seven-year coffee life cycle among others.

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