FLAGSHIP PROJECT

Work on Sh25bn Koru-Soin dam to start in September

Kisumu leaders support the project; call for proper engagement and compensation to affected persons

In Summary

• National Water Harvesting Storage Authority chair Erick Okeyo said the works on the mega project will start by September.

• Okeyo said the project is currently under the procurement process which has officially closed with tenders under requisite evaluation.

National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority Chairman Erick Okeyo, Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili with Seme MP James Nyikal during a stakeholders meeting on the Sh25 billion Koru -Soin Dam in Kisumu on Thursday.
National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority Chairman Erick Okeyo, Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili with Seme MP James Nyikal during a stakeholders meeting on the Sh25 billion Koru -Soin Dam in Kisumu on Thursday.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

@alalmaurice

The construction of the Sh25 billion Koru-Soin multipurpose dam will begin in September, National Water Harvesting Storage Authority chair Erick Okeyo has said.

Okeyo said tenders for the project have been closed for evaluation.

He spoke on Thursday during a stakeholders' meeting over the project at Sunset Hotel in Kisumu.

Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili, county commissioner Susan Waweru, MPs Onyango K'Oyoo (Muhoroni), Jared Okelo (Nyando), James Nyikal (Seme) and former Nyakach MP Polyns Ochieng and a host of MCAs were present.

The tender process, Okeyo said, will be concluded in a month after which the site will be handed over to the contractor to start work.

He said that the National Environment Management Authority has granted interim approval for the project.

“We are working with the National Land Commission to ensure compensation of those to be affected by the project,” Okeyo said.

The commission is already holding Sh400 million on behalf of the NWHSA for compensation.

He said the government will spend about Sh2 billion to compensate the landowners. The project will affect 360 parcels of land with 230 and 130 in Kisumu and Kericho counties respectively.

K'Oyoo supported the project, saying it will end flooding and provide water for irrigation.

Kisumu county commissioner Susan Waweru, National Water Harvesting Storage Authority CEO Sharon Obonyo, Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili with Muhoroni MP Onyango Koyoo during a meeting on the Sh25 billion Koru -Soin dam in Kisumu on Thursday.
Kisumu county commissioner Susan Waweru, National Water Harvesting Storage Authority CEO Sharon Obonyo, Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili with Muhoroni MP Onyango Koyoo during a meeting on the Sh25 billion Koru -Soin dam in Kisumu on Thursday.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

He lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM chief Raila Odinga for working together to ensure the realisation of the project.

K'Oyoo called for proper public participation and compensation to affected persons before construction begins.

He said the dam was the best way to control the perennial floods that have displaced thousands of people and caused massive property damage.

K'Oyoo assured residents their views would be taken into consideration. Residents have complained that public participation was not properly carried out.

Okello and Nyikal also rallied support for the dam. The project stalled in 2016 when the contract was awarded.

Owili said the dam will provide a lasting solution to the floods that have wreaked havoc to the people of Kisumu.

He said the floods led to destruction of crops and livestock amounting to Sh3 billion this year.

Owili committed the county’s support to NWHSA to ensure that the project is completed on time.

Soin-Koru Dam is among the Vision 2030 flagship projects along River Nyando, approximately five kilometres upstream of Muhoroni town.

Other projects include Maruba Dam in Machakos and Siyoi-Muruny in West Pokot.

The dam was started in 1982 by the Italian government and taken over by NWCPC in 2009. The need to control the floods caused by the river was arrived at after a study and writing of a proposal.

Flooding on lower Kano plains displaces about 5,000 people annually. The dam will also supply water for domestic, commercial, and institutional use.

The City of Kisumu and the emerging towns of Ahero, Chemilil, Miwani, Muhoroni, Koru, Awasi, Koitaburot, Katito, Masogo, and Ombeyi will be major beneficiaries.

The current water supply for Kisumu and its satellite towns is approximately 18,000m3 per day against a demand of approximately 66,000m3.

The dam is expected to provide an additional water supply of approximately 71,279m3 a day to a population of 1,707,740 people.

This will supplement existing schemes and be sufficient for the next 20 years according to the experts.

The other benefits include the expansion of irrigation schemes in and around Ahero and West Kano from 4448 acres to 13,270 acres and also power generation of approximately 2.5 MW.

This would be used for pumping water to higher areas and provide electricity.

 

(edited by o. owino)