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September 27, 2020
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Thwake dam works in progress despite Covid-19 threat

INSPECTION: Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo and Thwake project manager Xing Wentao at Thwake dam site recently.

 

Despite the rising number of Covid-19 cases, construction work at Thwake Multipurpose dam is in progress.

Project’s Health Safety and Environment manager Apopo Lentana said the Sh63 billion project is 37 per cent complete.

“This has been realised by ensuring workers at the dam site adhere to the regulations set out by the Ministry of Health,” Lentana told reporters during a routine testing for workers on Wednesday.

 

He, however, said they have reduced the workforce to ensure there is the required social distancing and minimal contact.

He said they have also moved all the workers to central residential houses to ensure there is zero interaction among them.

“This is supplemented by other health measures like regular screening and provision of sanitiser to all the workers,” he said.

Truck drivers who supply materials from outside the project stay in the trucks and the offloading is done by other workers after thorough fumigation of the vehicles, the manager said.

Possible exposure to any infection is reduced by moving the fewest number of workers to the site using available vans or pick-ups.

“We take all precautions because if anyone is infected it means all other workers will be quarantined and the site closed. We ensure workers are given masks, sanitiser and their temperatures taken at various entry points,” Lentana said.

In Thursday’s routine testing, 30 new workers were tested.

Nurse in charge of Thwake Project Medical Centre Eutychus Muthiani said testing has been going on at random across the site.

“We had a positive case here in Makueni and we are not leaving anything to chance since such can interrupt workflow here at the site,” Muthiani said.

Close to 900 employees are working on the project, which is jointly funded by the African Development Bank and the Kenyan government.

Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo, who visited the site, said reduction of the workforce in the dam site was necessary to protect workers and the surrounding community from infection.

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