Kiongo Dam: Wonder of a dam without an inlet or outflow

The road from Ndondori Township through Gwa Kiongo to Marsis not paved but rehabilitation works are going on.

The heaps of murram, as well as the behemoth earth movers, lorries and concrete mixers trying to outdo each other in creating a din do not make the trip from Ndondori to Gwa Kiongo an unexciting one either.

However, the hilly climb offers a good view of evergreen rolling hills and valleys and the verdant countryside.

Terraced gardens complete the view with neat copses or paddocks, where heavily fleeced merino sheep or dairy cows browse.

Homes and businesses on the roadside share characteristics. They are either made of timber or are prefabricated tin structures, although a few stone houses can be seen.

Taking into consideration quarrying is not an economic activity in this area and the cost of sourcing building materials from far-off quarries will triple construction costs, this explains the local architecture.

Some of the buildings are a marvel for those with an architectural inclination.

An example is the remnant of the colonial past, a one-storey timber building that defiantly stands strong, albeit showing signs of neglect.

It has a combination roof ranging from mansard, gable, hip and shed slop with dormer windows sticking out in places.

Gwa Kiongo in Milangine District, Nyandarua County, is a chilly place. The name literally translates to “the place of the head” in Kikuyu.

It is a small one-street township that can be described more as a trading centre than a town.

The state of infrastructure is wanting and there is absolutely nothing like urban planning.

No financial institution of repute has made its mark here, save for a few of their appointed agents.

What will easily catch a visitors eye here is Gwa Kiongo Dam, located a short distance from the township.

The dam covers five acres at most. It is devoid of water weeds and is located on a hilly ringed valley.

It teems with aquatic life and, once in a while, you can see kingfisher birds making daring dives to catch mainly fingerlings.

Its clear waters are rain-fed. There is no river, or even stream, that drains into it or flows out.

The dam’s level doesn’t depreciate much. Owing to elevation, and the slow draining soil of the place, the rate of evaporation is low.

Bacteria, too, don’t seem to thrive in its cold waters.

It is also a natural spring as rains supplements ground water.

The Nyandarua Water Service Company (Nyawasco) pipes the water from the dam to far-flung places — such as Murindati, within the county.