23 November 2017

Kenya: Residents Say They Will Stop Itare Dam Project

A storm is brewing at the site of the multi-billion- shilling Itare dam in Ndoinet area in Nakuru County after residents complained that the dam poses an environmental hazard.

The residents of Ndoinet forest in Kuresoi North sub-county Thursday tabled complaints to the contractor of the dam, listing hazards related to its construction.

In a petition presented to the company, air pollution and noise pollution were outlined as a major concern by the residents.

They also mentioned lack of water for use after the company fenced off the dam area, enclosing a water source they have been using.

FENCE

"We do not have water for our animals or for domestic use since the fence was put up," said Mr Joseph Langat.

Mr Langat said the company had promised to erect water tanks for the residents before they built the fence but they have not done so.

He added that the noise emanating from the site as the contractors blow up the rocks is unbearable.

"The contractor should give us a notice before using the explosives," Mr Langat said.

He said the residents had given the company an ultimatum of seven days to implement the promises made to them, failing hich they will find ways to stop construction of the dam.

Another resident, Mr Moses Kiplangat, said he lost two cows after they were blown up by explosives at the site.

"I reported the incident to the management of the company but they insisted that the date was wrong and therefore refused to compensate me," he said.

POPULATION

Winnie Chelangat said they had been forced to buy 20 litres of water at Sh100, a price they cannot afford.

"The contractor should stop construction of the dam and compensate us first. They should solve our water problems before they find a solution for people who live as far away as Nakuru town," she added.

The mega dam is projected to serve a population of 800,000 people in Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro, Rongai and Nakuru town.

The project is funded by the Italian government and is being undertaken by Muratori and Cementitsti of Ravenna, Italy, which won the tender in September 2014.

It is the largest of its kind undertaken in the South Rift after the Sh5.5 billion Chemususu dam which President Kenyatta commissioned early this year. It was picked under the national water masterplan as one of the government's flagship projects.

With a capacity to yield 100,000 cubic metres per day, the 57m high dam is expected to solve water problems in Nakuru County.

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