Nairobi Dam is a large sweet water body located close to Wilson Airport, Lang’ata, Nairobi and less than 3 km away from Nairobi Central Business District. Close to the Dam, the settlement of Kibera represents the biggest informal settlement in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nairobi dam, which used to be every sailors’ dream and a renowned local recreation area, has been robbed of not just its beauty but its use for irrigation, recreation, human water resource, industrial use and aquaculture. The once vibrant Dam has, over the years, been transformed into a huge, uncontrolled open sewer. It constitutes a major threat to the locals in the neighboring Kibera and to the entire City of Nairobi. The concentration of coliform bacteria is at least 10 times higher than allowed by national regulations; moreover it is suspected to be one of the major reasons for the recent Cholera outbreaks in Nairobi. It is to be regarded as a high-crime area and most of the riparian areas are considered to be a no-go zone after nightfall.
Save the Lake Foundation has finalized on a MoU with the Nairobi City County Government in July 2015.
Assisted by Nairobi City County and other governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations, among others, UNHABITAT, we aim to reclaim and restore the Dam to its pristine conditions. The task ahead is an important infrastructural undertaking which will involve several steps.
The Dam will be secured in a way that it does not pose a public (health) threat anymore. A sewage plant and filter systems, along with the prevention of further pollution from the inflowing rivers, will be constructed in the upcoming two years. The project consists in a sustainable, comprehensive approach – the excavated material from the Dam will be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. The riparian areas will undergo a substantial beautification program, restoring them to a safe place and feast for the eyes to the neighbourhood. The whole area will be upgraded to a location truly worthwhile living in.
Our experienced international team of engineers, covering the expertise of hydrologists, geologists, construction experts, agronomists, water biologists, hazardous waste specialists and waste managers will provide the know-how to transform the Dam to what is once was: a recreational centre for all Nairobi residents; a source of clean fresh water to the adjacent communities; a reservation area for local flora and fauna close to downtown; a static emergency tank filled with clean, unpolluted water. Moreover, it will serve as a source for hydropower.
In all this, the residents of Kibera will play a pivotal role. It is they who will provide the main manpower, since it is one of our Organisation’s aims to employ as much of the local workforce as possible. This means, basically, jobs and employment to the main beneficiaries of a restored Dam.
We count on all residents of Nairobi to assist us in completing the huge task ahead.
Watch this space for short videos and interviews and we strive to reclaim and restore Nairobi Dam.