Ndakaini Dam is famous to most of the people in Kenya. This fame is mostly attributed to the Ndakaini marathon races held in Kenya annually. Ndakaini dam is also referred to as Thika dam. Ndakaini dam was set up in 1988 so as to supply water to the Nairobi City residents. A piece of land, approximately 1200 acres was set for this dam construction in Kenya. The dam occupies 600 acres of land, when full. The rest of the land was used as a construction site and a quarry for extraction of stones to build Ndakaini dam.
Ndakaini dam in Kenya has a capacity of close to 70 million cubic meters of water. Ndakaini dam in Kenya is located 80 kilometers north of Nairobi and 40 kilometers west of Thika town in Kenya. Ndakaini dam is located on the slopes of Mt. Kenya in Kenya and is the main source of water supply for the Nairobi Water Company in Nairobi serving most of the Nairobi residents. Ndakaini dam is approximately 60 meters deep. Nairobi in Kenya, with its ever increasing population, has been faced with water challenges for a long time. The water shortage crisis in Nairobi was worst before the construction of the dam in 1984. The only lucky Nairobi residents who enjoyed availability of running water ad libitum were those who had dug boreholes in Nairobi around their places of residence in Nairobi Estates. Dry taps were the order of the day, all over Nairobi.
The Ndakaini dam construction in Kenya was financed by the World Bank, The European Bank, The African Development Bank as well as the Kenyan government. Ndakaini dam has helped to increase the reliability of water provision in Nairobi city. Ndakaini dam serves over 3 million Nairobi residents with clean drinking water.
In 2004, the Ndakaini marathon in Kenya, organized by the Ndakaini Dam Environmental Conservation Association (NDEKA) in Kenya, was first held. Ndakaini Marathon event in Kenya has a main aim of creating awareness on protection of the dam’s catchment areas in Kenya so as to ensure the dams longevity. The Ndakaini marathon in Kenya also helps the local community living around the area to develop viable socio-economic activities related to the dam.
In as much as there were a few hitches and pros to the development of Ndakaini dam in Kenya, such as displacement of people and alteration of road networks in Kenya, the dam has greatly ameliorated the livelihood of Nairobi city residents by providing clean and safe drinking water.