The national government has allocated funds for the construction of Koru-Soin dam upstream River Nyando to curb flooding in the area.
The tender for the multipurpose dam designed in the 1950’s has been floated by the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority signalling commencement of works.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eugene Wamalwa said construction of the dam was a long term solution to perennial floods that have caused massive destruction of crops and property in Nyando over the years.
Through the project, he said water shall be abstracted from River Nyando upstream and stored in the dam to ease pressure downstream.
The reluctance of area residents to give land for construction of the project, he said was to blame for the delay of the project.
“I have however been assured by the governor that the community has agreed to give land for the project and as government we shall do everything possible to ensure that they are adequately compensated,” he said.
Speaking on Saturday at Ayweyo in Nyando Sub County, Wamalwa said the government will also erect dykes on the banks of River Nyando as a short term measure to curb floods.
Wamalwa who was accompanied by Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o, Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Busia County Governor Sospeter Ojamong presented 1, 000 bags of maize and other assorted food stuffs to support households displaced by floods in the area.
The CS said his ministry will support individuals whose houses were swept by floods with iron sheets to help them rebuild.
Prof. Nyong’o said the breakthrough in construction of the dam was a milestone in putting a stop to the challenge of floods in Kisumu, adding that water extracted from the river will be stored in ten tanks and used for irrigation and drinking.
“This project apart from solving out floods problem shall ensure that we have sufficient supply of water in Kisumu and neighbouring Kericho County,” he said.
This year’s floods was the worst to be experienced since 1965 noted the governor, adding that crops and property worth Sh3 billion has been destroyed.
“Apart from the destruction of crops and infrastructure we have over 7, 000 households displaced,” he said.
Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said construction of the dam was long overdue, while urging the national government to partner with counties hit by floods to find long lasting solutions to the menace.
By Chris Mahandara