The National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) has identified 2, 500 acres of land for construction of Koru-Soin dam on the border of Kisumu and Kericho counties.
NWHSA board Chairman Erick Okeyo said the project shall affect 206 parcels of land in Kisumu and 110 in Kericho where the owners shall be compensated to the tune of Sh 2 billion.
The project, designed in the 1950’s stalled due to political interference and reluctance of the community to give land.
Okeyo said NWHSA has engaged the National Land Commission (NLC) to evaluate the 317 parcels and come up with proper rates for compensation to pave way for the construction which kicks off in August.
“The evaluation is ongoing and NLC has advised us to degazzette some of the parcels to ensure that only individuals with genuine parcels are compensated,” he said.
Speaking in Kisumu on Wednesday during the launch of public participation for the project, Okeyo disclosed that the national government has set aside Sh25 billion for the construction of the multi-purpose dam which is expected to curb floods in Nyando.
“Part of the money shall be made available after the budget is read with additional funds expected in the supplementary budget in October,” he said.
He said the NWHSA has already advertised the tender for the project and the procurement process was expected to be completed by end of July.
“This is a critical national government project and we expect to hand over the site to the contractor in the first week of August,” he said.
The dam to be constructed on upstream River Nyando is designed to control flooding, and supply water for domestic and industrial consumers in the city of Kisumu and the satellite towns of Ahero, Awasi, Muhoroni, and Koitaburot in Kericho County.
The dam shall also supply the existing irrigation schemes of Ahero and West Kano and also generate power.
Okeyo said the project, which was expected to be completed in five years, would boost food security in Kisumu and enable the locals who have been hit by floods over the years to engage in meaningful economic activities.
“The board has been tasked with the responsibility of controlling floods that it why this project is very critical to us,” he said.
Kisumu County Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili assured the authority that the community was ready for the project.
Owili said once completed, the dam would curb cases of water shortage in the area and boost food production.
Kisumu County Assembly Speaker Elisha Oraro asked leaders to delink politics from the project to ensure that it is completed for the benefit of the community.
By Chris Mahandara