Kwale governor Salim Mvurya has assured residents displaced by the Sh14.7 billion Mwache dam project they will be compensated.
He said the cheques are ready and are being held by the land registrar department in Nairobi.
“Compensation cheques will be issued by national government officials in due course,” Mvurya said.
The Mwache dam project will provide water to Kwale and Mombasa counties for a variety of uses, including irrigation.
The project is funded by the World Bank. Kwale county, Coast Development Authority, the national and county governments are major partners.
Mvurya denied claims his office was holding the cheques.
"People have spread all manner of rumours claiming my office is withholding the cheques. But how can I do so when I want my people to benefit? Ignore such rumours and their perpetrators because they are lies," Mvurya said.
The 2,000 residents who will be displaced by the project will be paid before work begins, Mvurya said.
"Before a bulldozer breaks ground here, all the affected people will have been compensated adequately," he said.
Mvurya spoke in Majengo on Sunday. He was accompanied by Deputy Governor Fatuma Achani.
The beneficiaries have also gotten Sh15.6 million grant cheques distributed to members of 62 groups.
Mvurya said the money is part of Sh550 million to be given to groups to start small-scale projects in addition to compensation.
Mvurya said, “Mine is to make sure no one gets a raw deal. I will stand by you until you get just compensation.”
He issued Sh7.8 million cheques at Samburu to a group of CBOs of the Mwache Dam initiative.
At Madikoni, the two leaders opened the ECDE facility and issued Sh600,000 bursary cheques to 18 students from Mwavumbo ward who are joinings university.
Achani urged residents to defend Mvurya’s administration against attacks and accusations.
“Governor Mvurya is known for his sterling development record. If you hear anybody accusing or attacking him or his administration, that person is a witch...” she said.