Revive scrapped Kimwarer, stalled Arror dams - Tolgos

Projects never started though advance payments made, Sh22b said to have been lost, misused

In Summary

• Tolgos' administration working with government to ensure mega projects implemented. Kimwarer was scrapped, Arror dramatically scaled back.

• Governor is an ally of President Kenyatta and ODM chief Raila Odinga and spearheads BBI in the region. Says region benefiting in development.



British High Commissioner Jane Marriott, Governor Alex Tolgos and Sports CS Amina Mohamed in Iten town on December 4.
ITEN TOUR: British High Commissioner Jane Marriott, Governor Alex Tolgos and Sports CS Amina Mohamed in Iten town on December 4.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has asked the government to revive the scrapped, unviable and overpriced Kimwarer Dam.

He also wants President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration to hasten construction of the scaled-back and overpriced Arror Dam.

About Sh22 billion is believed to have been lost or misused on the two dams that were never started though contractors and suppliers were paid large sums in advance.


President  Kenyatta, reacting to the twin dams scandals, cancelled the Kimwarer Dam, which never took off, and  scaled back Arror, which still has not taken off.

Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich and more than 20 others were charged with abuse of office and corruption-related offences in regard to the two dams. They include Kerio Valley Development Authority CEO David Kimosop.

All pleaded not guilty.

Tolgos said on Friday his administration is working closely with the national government to ensure mega projects are implemented

The governor is an ally of the President and ODM leader Raila Odinga. He said his region is benefiting from the March 9, 2018, handshake between the two.

Tolgis is chairman of the BBI drive in Rift Valley.

“The handshake is fostering peace and unity and helping to have development programmes rolled out," Tolgos said. "We have so many projects under tendering, thanks to the national government," he said in Iten town.


He said the Arror and Kimwarer dams, which were to be implemented by the Kerio Valley Development Authority, would be of great benefit.

President Kenyatta was informed Kimwarer was to have been built on a geological fault and was a disaster in waiting. It was not technically viable and the last feasibility study was done 28 years ago.

Meanwhile, the UK is among donors and investors who will finance a  Sh7.9 billion upgrade of Iten town, the county headquarters.

The British government has donated Sh400 million as seed capital for the economic plan to transform Iten municipality.

British High Commissioner Jane Marriott and Sports CS Amina Mohammed were in Iten on Friday to preside over projects. 

The Urban Economic Plan for the town was developed by Atkins Consultants hired by the UK’s Sustainable Urban Development programme.

The project will include a sports park and modern elite sports hub.

Iten is among 12 Kenyan towns to benefit from upgrades.

The UK envoy  unveiled the World Athletics (formerly IAAF) Heritage Plaque awarded to Iten for its contribution to athletics. It is known worldwide as one of the best altitude training areas.

Upgrades will include world-class tourism and hospitality facilities, modern markets and a bus terminus, solar energy projects, cottage industries for processing and modern road networks.

Running tracks will be built.

Marriott said her government had selected Iten due to its fast growth and status as a world athletics training destination.

“The economic plan will harness Iten’s world-class sports and tourism potential and its agricultural economy to create investment opportunities for the private sector and create jobs for locals," the envoy said.

CS Amina said the recognition of Iten as a World Heritage site confirms its contribution to global athletics history.

Tolgos said the plan would be implemented in phases. The economic blueprint would be largely driven by the private sector. The government will create an enabling economic environment.

“Out of the Sh7.9 billion capital investment, 20 per cent will be taken up by government and donors, the other 80 per cent will be opened up for private investments and public private partnerships,” he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)