Kenya: Leaders and residents give KVDA nod to build dams

05 June 2018

Construction of multibillion-shilling hydroelectric power dams in Elgeyo-Marakwet County is expected to begin after resolving a standoff threatening to derail the project.Political leaders and residents of Kipsaiya and Kimwarer areas agreed to support the project on condition that landowners are adequately compensated.Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said the government would follow the law when acquiring land for the Sh63 billion dams.

“No land will be taken without compensation. The Constitution has a provision of public participation,” Wamalwa said during a consultative meeting in Kipsaiya.The dams, to be set up on rivers Arror and Kimwarer in Marakwet West and Keiyo South sub-counties respectively, will displace more than 800 families and are expected to irrigate more than 20,000 acres.Governor Alex Tolgos said: “Leaders have agreed to work together for the good of everybody. We will address emerging issues and ensure the project is implemented fas.”

Kerio Valley Development Authority managing director David Kimosop said the two dams would unlock the huge potential of the region.”We shall engage everybody to ensure the dams are a success. We will also hold meetings with the community and persuade opponents of the project to come on board,” Kimosop said.He added that the authority would ensure the construction of the dams is done in a transparent and accountable manner.

“Any person who surrenders his or her land will be resettled,” Mr Kimosop said.KVDA, in a joint venture with CMC di Ravena and Itenera, will implement the project expected to add 60MW of power to the national grid.

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