Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili this morning received a delegation from the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority on behalf of the Governor who were in the county to brief the County Leadership on the progress and the roadmap of the implementation of the much-awaited Koru – Soin Multipurpose Dam.
Led by the Authority Chairman Mr. Erick Okeyo, the team comprising of Board Members, the CEO and other high-ranking officials discussed an array of issues related to the project including challenges experienced so far.
The Koru Soin Dam is a Vision 2030 flagship project expected to serve Kisumu and Kericho counties running from the slopes of Got Alila hill in Muhoroni and slopes of Koitatui hill in Soin, Kericho county.
The dam which is estimated at Kshs. 25 billion has components such as gradient irrigation, supply of portable water and generation of hydo power.
Already, the national treasury has allocated Kshs. 5 billion to commence the construction with another 15 billion awaiting National Treasury’s approval in the Supplementary Budget come October, 2020. At least 2 billion shillings will go towards compensation of affected persons with the remaining 18 billion going towards dam and water supply components.
The realization of this Dam expected to be completed in 5 years will ease the people of Kisumu and Kericho greatly especially those along the Nyando Basin who have continuously suffered from the perennial floods. In addition, it is expected to provide additional portable water supply of 71,279m3/day serving more than 1.7 million residents.
The economic impacts of this project will be enormous as the people will also have enough water for irrigation and institutional use that will ensure improved food security and other infrastructural developments such as power.
As he delivered the Governor’s message to the press, the Deputy Governor highlighted that the dam which was conceived even before Kenya’s independence will provide a lasting solution to the perennial flooding that has continued to cause unending suffering to the people of Kisumu. He noted that the effects have been so devastating resulting into massive destruction of crops and livestock amounting to 3 billion shillings in this year alone.
Dr. Owili assured the NWHSA team of the County’s commitment to partner with the Authority to ensure that the project is delivered on time. He also mentioned that the County, through the Department of Water, Irrigation and Environment under the leadership of the Minister Salmon Orimba has actively and continuously engaged the project affected persons within the proposed site in a number of forums regarding the dam construction especially on issues related to the actual area the dam will occupy, the affected population and more importantly compensation of affected persons.
The dam will be constructed on approximately 2,500 acres of land affecting a total of 316 parcels; 110 parcels in Kericho County and 206 parcels in Kisumu County.
The Chairman assured the people of Kisumu that the project will kick off as anticipated once the procurement process is completed by end of July, 2020 with the site handing over to the contractor expected at the beginning August this year.
He pleaded with the political class to avoid politicizing the project but instead support it to enable residents reap from it. He expressed concerns that due to the persistent flooding, Kisumu has been reduced to a “food relief” reliant county, a situation that must be addressed with finality.
The Speaker on his part assured the team that the Assembly will provide them with all the necessary support even as they implement the project.
The delegation also made a donation of water tanks, sanitizers, face masks, soap and umbrellas to support the Covid -19 situation.
Joining the DG for the briefing were County Assembly Speaker Hon. Elisha Oraro, County Ministers of Water, Irrigation and Environment Salmon Orimba, Tourism, Culture and Sports Madam Archie Alai, and County Secretary Godfrey Kigochi among other County Officials.
Mr. Okeyo was accompanied by Board Members Walibengo Waningilo Jane Mwikali and CEO Sharon Obonyo among other officials.
By Collins Owuor