Dam projects on course as residents agree on payment
Construction of two mega dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County worth Sh63 billion is finally set to start after more than 900 displaced families agreed to be compensated on a land-for-land basis.
The regional authority implementing the project says it has secured land in Uasin Gishu and Transzoia counties where the families will be shifted to.
A meeting that brought together leaders and National Land Commission (NLC) chairman Muhammad Swazuri on Wednesday resolved that the affected families will also be paid for all developments on their farms.
“This is a milestone in the development of this region. All genuine people on the affected land will be compensated. Those in critical areas like where the investor will set up camp and machinery will be given more time to move,” said Mr Kimosop.
The National Lands Commission is on a two-week tour of Arror and Kimwarer dam sites familiarising locals on the project, distributing the Kenya Gazette and creating awareness on the project.
“All the paperwork and money for affected families have been concluded. We’ve already held 81 consultative meetings with the locals to explain to them everything about the project,” said its chairman, Mr Swazuri.
“We, however, call on the NLC to fast-track issuance of title deeds to affected families. We want our people to benefit fully from the project,” said Mr Rono.
The KVDA, through a joint venture between CMC di Ravena and Itenera of Italy with funding from the Italian government, plans to implement the multi-purpose project to generate 60 megawatts of electricity to the national grid and enhance irrigated agriculture.
Upon completion, the project will see more than 10, 000 acres of land placed under irrigation and provide water for domestic use to over 100, 000 households. The project will cover 4,000 acres.
Mr Kimossop said 50 kilometres of road will also be constructed and 185 square kilometres of land will be under water catchment conservation.
“All issues raised by the families that will be affected by the construction of the dams will be addressed. Locals will also be given first priority in job opportunities which will arise,” Mr Kimosop said on a tour of Arror dam on Thursday.
Mr Kimosop disclosed that the authority, in collaboration with the regional and national governments, was addressing all the pertinent issues raised by the community.
“Families have agreed to be compensated with land and measures have been put in place to settle them elsewhere in the next six months,” he added.