The County Government of Kisumu in partnership with the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority this afternoon held a Leaders Consultative Forum with the County leadership ahead of the construction of the Koru – Soin dam.
The discussions were geared towards providing a better roadmap for the successful implementation of the Ksh. 25 billion project.
The Koru Soin Dam is a Vision 2030 flagship project expected to serve at least 1.7 million residents of Kisumu and Kericho counties running from the slopes of Got Alila hill in Muhoroni and slopes of Koitatui hill in Soin, Kericho county.
Already, the government has set aside Ksh. 5 billion for the commencement of construction with another 15 billion awaiting National Treasury’s approval in the October 2020 Supplementary budget. At least Ksh. 2 billion will be used towards compensation of project affected persons to acquire the 2500 acres needed for the construction. These include 206 parcels of land from the Kisumu side with Kericho County expected to part with 110 parcels.
The realization of this dam is expected to alleviate the impacts of floods in the lower reaches of river Nyando and provide additional portable water supply of approximately 71,279m3/day. The economic impacts will also be enormous with the project employing at least 1,500 locals as well as availing enough water for irrigation and institutional use that will enhance food security and other infrastructural developments like hydro power generation.
The authority plans to have water gravitate from the hills to the treatment plants downstream into storage tanks at different locations to boost the distribution especially in Muhoroni, Chemelil, Awasi, Ahero, Miwani, Rabuor, and Kibos. Kibos will have a booster tank distributing water to Riat hills and finally Maseno back to Kisumu.
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili who spoke on behalf of the Governor reiterated the County’s commitment to ensure that the project is fully implemented owing to the benefits that will accrue upon its completion. The project, he said will help bring a permanent solution to the perennial flooding along the Nyando Basin that has continuously led to destruction of lives and property.
He assured the leaders of the County’s total support by ensuring that all stakeholders are brought on board to deliver the project.
He extended a message of appreciation to H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Raila Odinga for their role in spearheading infrastructural developments around the region especially Kisumu.
The Chairman of the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority Erick Okeyo reported that the procurement process is at evaluation stage and conclude in a month’s time upon which they shall hand over the site to the contractor.
On the issue of land acquisition and compensation of project affected persons, the Chairman said that the National Land commission is already in custody of Ksh. 400 million to kick start the process thus allaying fears of many residents. He NLC is expected to carry out fresh valuation in order to ensure the affected persons are compensated in good time.
Joining the DG was the County CEC in charge of Water and Environment Hon. Salmon Orimba who shared with the team the County’s wish list. He requested the authority to consider having additional water storage tanks in more areas such as Nyakach Sub County like Katito, additional booster tank at Mamboleo and Maseno to supply Riat, Kisumu West and Seme sub counties and finally another tank in Kabonyo Kanyagwal to serve both Kabonyo and Kobura wards. This he said will help increase water supply within the county which now stands at 18,000m3/day against a demand of 66,000m3/day
On the irrigation component, the CEC requested the authority to direct the irrigation channel to cover up to Kisumu East in Kolwa East to increase the area under irrigation. The authority had proposed to increase area under irrigation schemes in Ahero and West Kano by 2,500 Ha and power generation by 2.5 MW.
Other leaders present were; Muhoroni MP Hon. Onyango Koyoo, counterparts from (Nyando) Hon Jared Okello and (Seme) Dr. James Nyikal, County Commissioner Madam Susan Waweru, MCAs and other County and National Government officials.
By Nancy Juma