The National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) has announced that construction of Soin-Koru Multipurpose Dam will start in September.
The Board Chairman of NWHSA Erick Okeyo said the Ksh40 billion project by the National Government is currently under the procurement process.
The government is currently evaluating compensation to the affected persons where the National Land Commission is already holding Ksh400 million on behalf of the Authority for compensation.
About Ksh2 billion will be used to compensate the land owners. According to the Authority, at least 360 parcels of land will acquired for the project. 230 of the parcels of land will be affected in Kisumu County while 130 in Kericho county.
The plan to construct the dam started in 1983 when the Japanese International Corporation Agency and Plan International were commissioned by the Kenyan government to carry out a feasibility study in Koru. The purpose of the feasibility study was to assess the viability of constructing a dam to supply water to Baringo and control flooding in Ahero in Nyando constituency. The study covered the area between Got Alila hill in Kisumu County and Taritatu hill in Kericho County.
The Project’s components include Rockfill dam of 54 meters height, storage capacity of 93.7MM cubic, water treatment works of 71.279 Meters cubic per day.
Others include trunk distribution pipelines of diameters 1200-150 millimeters and of total length of 122.54 kilometers as well as 12 number storage tanks of total capacity of 23.400 meters.
The idea was abandoned and the report of the study was never shared to the public. In 2010, that is 27 years later, the National Water Conservation and Pipeline under the ministry of water through the Provincial Administration started giving residents eviction orders. This was after another feasibility study was done by Otieno Odongo and Partners Consulting Engineers.
According to the report, the proposed dam would be constructed on a seismic zone (earthquake prone) and a fault line runs parallel to the axis of the dam just outside it.
Also, three different rivers converge at the confluence at exactly the dam axis and during heavy rains season this could have terrible undisclosed effects, according to the report.
The area of the proposed dam coverage threatens the livelihood of over 100,000 thousands people. These include primary victims of Koru in Kisumu county and Kaitatui in Kericho county, secondary victims downstream where the government will acquire more than 3500 hectares of land for irrigation and those who will not be displaced.
On the flip side, the dam is expected to control flooding within lower reaches of Kano plains which displaces more than 5,000 people yearly.
Another benefit is water supply for domestic, commercial, Irrigation and institutional use for all the residents near the dam including emerging towns of Ahero, Chemelil, Miwani, Muhoroni, Koru, Awasi, Koitaburot, Katito, Masogo and Ombeyi.