The Gwakiongo dam is situated in Nyandarua county at Milangineat a height of above 1700 meters above sea level.Not much is known about this region apart from the few sterotypical hear says that people from this region drink porridge from gumboots, women board vehicle with their chondos on their backs among others.I want to first disqualify this false theories and second declare them void. People from Gwakiongo are leanered,Informed and smart inventors of alot of merchandise, This area also claims home grounds of big leaders in the republic of kenya, media personalities, musicians, athletes and many others. Gwakiongo loosely translates to “ofHead” in kikuyu language. It lies between two green ridges.It has no inlet andcovers approximately 40 acres of land. It is arguably the largest man made dam.A white settler in the colonial era owned a vast ranch in the region andsupposedly constructed the dam to carry out irrigation during the dry seasons.Thankyouto that settler for creating such a magnificent feature for if it was not so,we would be staring at a forest or even grabbed public land.who knows? It is rumored he had a big head hence theorigin of the name Gwakiongo. The dam is surrounded by green rich vegetationand indigenous trees cedar and locally known as “Mutarakwa” which are around100 years old. Locals rest around the dam to relax their minds and also haveleisure activities like play football asides the dam.
The dam is also home of a variety of ducks and fish which supplements diet in that region. In the earlier days , boys used to swim in the dam but that’s a long gone story. There is also one hand made boat which is used for fishing and tour trips on the dam. We can not under estimate the economic value brought by this Gwakiongo dam among other benefits one being a source of water to many regions surrounding it including Nyakiambi Girls which is rightnext to the dam. The Nyandarua county has also invested in water cleaning plant to help sanitize the water and make it fit for human consumption because it never runs dry year in year out.(remember it has no inlet)
With these altitude, the weather is cold and mostly chilly with temperatures going below 100 C .One would wonder how humans even exist here, but for the locals, it’s normal and mostly a routine to have 2 jackets on. But with this weather and height above sea level, agriculture and dairy farming is bound to thrive. This area is undoubtedly the second producer of potatoes in Kenya after Kinangop if not the first. Other crops that grow here are maize, peas, cabbages the size of a football, Sukuma-wiki which are 1 ft big among other crops. Merino sheep are also common and tend to produce more wool than sheep in other regions in the country.
The mention of this area to people who have been in this area since 90`s will take them back to the totally impassable roads. This area located along Nakuru -Nyahururu road. Thanks to our leaders and especially the previous Cabinet secretary of internal security and Currently the Governor of Nyandarua county Honourable Francis Kimemia. The road is now being tarmacked By the China Railway and Bridge construction company(CRBC).
Former presidents also have an attachment to this area. Retired President Moi used to visit this area severally during the early years of his tenure and pioneered construction of The Nyakiambi Girls secondary school. He also installed electricity to the school and even tarmacked the road from nakuru to the school. That tarmac doesn’t however exists, what exists is the new “Chinese” tarmac. First president of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the current president Uhuru Kenyatta have also toured the area severally. Gwakiongo is also Govenor Kimemia s home ground.
This region approximately 37 kilometers from nakuru town but it is at such a high altitude that at some point you can view Nakuru town as if from a high peak. Tourist en-route to Thompson falls , Aberdare national park and Mt Kenya can be seen oftenly having a stop and taking pictures of the dam. If well harnessed the Gwakiongo dam in Nyandarua can generate revenue for the county government and locals who would sell curios and act as local tours around the dam. This area is also used to hold public meetings. Companies have also been holding team building activities. Its proximity to other historical sites like the colonial happy valley homes also makes it suitable for touring or a refreshing site for the already tired drivers and tourists on their route to their destinations since the environment is conducive.
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