, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 2 – An inter-ministerial meeting called to end the dispute that has stalled the implementation of the Arror Multi-purpose Dam in Elgeyo-Marakwet County has resolved the project should be conducted by the Kerio Valley Development Authority.
Speaking after meeting elected leaders from the area, Water and Irrigation CS Eugene Wamalwa said the tussle between KVDA and the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board (LVNWSB) had been exaggerated.
He said KVDA had been selected to implement the project because of their good knowledge in the region and capacity.
“There has been an impression created that there was a problem, between agencies; we want to make it clear, with my sister, CS Wakhungu that the implementing agency of this project remains KVDA and there is no wrangling or fighting over this project. The leaders have agreed that this project that is of top national priority is equally of priority for the people of Elgeyo-Marakwet,” said Wamalwa.
His Environment counterpart Judy Wakhungu welcomed the agreement saying it will lead to the speedy execution of the project which will benefit the county.
“It remains as per the Cabinet decision of 2009 that KVDA is implementing this project, we have discussed this with the leaders; so going forward we not only want to meet with the leaders on the ground but also with people at the grassroots, so that we accelerate and complete this project as was determined 2009,” Wakhungu stated.
KVDA is under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources while Lake Victoria North Water Services Board (LVNWSB) is under the Ministry of Water.
The LVNWSB is in charge of water provision in Elgeyo North while KVDA operates within the region, a move that had bred controversies over who is to implement the project.
Elgeyo-Marakwet County Governor Alex Tolgos and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen urged the government to ensure all the affected people will be compensated or resettled before the projects takes off.
“We want to assure our people that we will stand by them and be on their side when the process of implementation begins we have myriads of challenges in both Embobut, Arror and Kimarer that are related to displacements of people and land ownership and all that consultations that require who that process is going to be carried out,” Murkomen said.
The Arror Dam is among the 18 projects approved by the cabinet under the implementation of Vision 2030 projects to accelerate development in Kerio Valley and spread to other parts of the country.
Upon completion, the Sh26 billion project is expected to generate 60 Megawatts of Hydro Power and provide water for irrigation for over 2,500 hectares.
Wamalwa on Sunday summoned Elgeyo-Marakwet political leaders and managers of water parastatals to attend a meeting to discuss a stalemate over the establishment of Arror Dam.
The project is expected to take four to five years.