Nairobi dam  to be cleaned

Reservoir to be transformed into recreational centre

Nairobi City County is to embark on a major clean-up of the Nairobi Dam in June to turn the clogged reservoir into a recreational park.

The project will last up to three years and is expected to cost between Sh700 million and Sh1 billion. This is the fourth such undertaking since 2004 but none of the previous attempts were successful.

Located off the main Langata Road, the 350,000-sqm dam was built in 1953 as a water reserve for the city. However Nairobi's expanding population soon outgrew the dam's capacity and it was subsequently abandoned.

Used as an exclusive sailing resort until the 1990s, the area then became an illicit dump for slums such as Kibera and Silanga, as well as for the cultivation of crops to feed the surrounding communities.

The past failures to clean the area have been blamed on the failure of the city to include local residents in the clean-up operations. In addition to aesthetics and hygene, the city is keen to have a usable water reserve again.