The construction of the Sh63 billion multi-purpose dams in Elgeyo-Marakwet County is set to kick off after the National Lands Commission (NLC) started compensating more than 800 families set to be displaced by the project.
NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri and Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) managers toured Arror and Kimwarer dam sites on Wednesday to sensitise locals on land compensation and resettlement.
“There should be formal acceptance by the families to surrender land for implementation of the proposed hydro-electricity and irrigation projects,” said Dr Swazuri, when he received a progress report from KVDA on the resettlement.
Arror dam will cost Sh38.5 billion and Kimwarer in Keiyo South Sh28 billion
They will be built on rivers Arror and Kimwarer in Marakwet West and Keiyo South sub-counties respectively; will displace more than 800 families and are expected to irrigate over 20,000 acres of land.
Dr Swazuri disclosed that KVDA has identified the families to be affected, which allows the project to get going in the next two months.
“About 6,000 acres of land, including public forests, will be acquired by the authority to set up the twin, multi-purpose dams,” added Dr Swazuri.
KVDA Managing Director David Kimosop said the families will receive Sh6.3 billion as compensation for development and resettlement.
“The NLC is to issue notification for acquisition of land for the project following agreement with the affected families,” said Mr Kimosop.
He disclosed that 400 hectares of the forest land will be acquired from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) for the two projects in exchange for 570 hectares recovered from private land by communities that will be displaced and compensated in exchange for the key project.
Speaking during a consultative meeting at Kipsaiya in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said the government will strictly adhere to laid-down procedures in getting land for the dams.
He said that the groundbreaking for the twin projects is expected to kick off in the next two months.