SH25 BILLION PROJECT

Koru-Soin Dam contractor to be identified this month— Raila

Construction failed to start in October 2020 due to a tussle between two Chinese firms

In Summary

• ODM leader Raila Odinga said construction of the dam is expected to begin immediately after the tender is awarded.

• The dam project has been bogged down with controversy around award for the tender for construction works and issue of land compensation for those affected.

ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses a meeting at Ger Liech village in Nyando constituency on Friday.
SH25 BILLION PROJECT: ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses a meeting at Ger Liech village in Nyando constituency on Friday.
Image: DICKENS WASONGA

The process of identifying a contractor for the multi-billion Koru-Soin multi-purpose dam project will be concluded this month.

ODM leader Raila Odinga said construction of the dam is expected to begin immediately after the tender is awarded.

The dam project has been bogged down with controversy around award for the tender for construction works and issue of land compensation for those affected.

In September last year, Erick Okeyo who was the chairman of the National Water Harvesting Storage Authority announced commencement of construction after closing of the tender.

Construction of the multi-purpose dam however, failed to start in October 2020 due to a tussle between two Chinese firms.

One Chinese firm moved to the Public Procurement Administration Review Board to contest the tender award.

The firm which lost the tender, also moved to the review board, halting work on the project.

The reservoir project was to be delivered within five years.

" We want a contractor to be awarded the tender this month so that work can begin immediately," Raila said on Friday.

The ODM leader spoke at a ground breaking ceremony of the proposed Raila Odinga Secondary School in Nyando constituency.

He however did not provide the name of the contractor. He said the project has experienced failed starts since the days of the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

" This project was mooted by Jaramogi in the sixties. He got funding for the project from Russia but it was frustrated by the late Tom Mboya and it never kicked off," he said.

He said he was optimistic the renewed efforts to have it implemented will succeed.

"We are determined to see the problem of flooding in Nyando become a thing of the past," he said.

Raila noted that plans are in top gear to steer the project on course.

The dam will be built on the Nyando River, upstream from the town of Muhoroni, in Kisumu.

It will supply water to the villages within Nyando and Muhoroni constituencies, irrigate several acres of land and operate a 2.5 MW hydroelectric power plant.

According to the opposition leader, the water reservoir will provide relief to the people of Kisumu and Kericho towns, especially those in the Nyando Basin who are regularly affected by floods.

The dam is expected to provide an additional 71,279 cubic litres of drinking water per day and supply over 1.7 million people.

The project will cost Sh25 billion.

The Star has established that the Kenya National Environmental Management Authority has since granted provisional approval for the implementation of the project.

The dam will have a reservoir covering over 2,471.05 acres, affecting 360 parcels of land, of which 230 and 130 are in Kisumu and Kericho counties.

In August, Governor Anyan'g Nyong'o said Sh2 billion will be spent on compensation for those affected by the project, the rest will be used for dam and water supply components.

The county government of Kisumu announced at the time, that an agreement had been reached between the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority and the communities living on the land earmarked for the project.

According to Nyong’o, the affected households on the 2,500 acres of land in Kisumu and Kericho counties have been engaged to pave way for the construction of the dam.

“The national government is now working out modalities for compensation of the affected people on the 360 parcels of land ahead of the construction of the multi-purpose dam,” he said at the time.

The governor said once construction is completed the dam will be a lasting solution to the perennial floods downstream River Nyando which has left a trail of destruction worth billions of shillings in the past.

The dam is designed to control flooding, supply water for domestic and industrial consumers in the city of Kisumu and satellite towns of Ahero, Awasi, Muhoroni and Koitaburot.

It will also supply the existing irrigation schemes of Ahero and West Kano.

Upon completion, it is expected that the initiative will end water shortages in the neighbouring counties of Kericho, Nandi and Kisumu.

It will also reduce sediment formation downstream, which is the main cause of flooding and ensure regulation of the river flow, thus providing water for irrigation all year round.

The reservoir will also offer opportunities in fishing and water-based tourism activities.

In May, Muhoroni MP Onyango Koyoo appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the delay in the construction of the dam.

The MP said the dam is the best way to control the floods menace.

The floods interrupt learning in schools as well as exposes families to water-borne diseases.

The dam project is funded by the national government through the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority.

Last year, the authority’s chairman said the state had committed Sh25 billion for the project.

The proposed dam is a Vision 2030 flagship project .

River Nyando is one of the seven major rivers within the Lake Victoria Basin originating from the upper highland areas and flows into Lake Victoria.

The Soin-Koru Dam was started in 1982 by the Italian government. The National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation took over in 2009.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)