CJ Maraga appoints three judges in Itare dam case

Chief Justice David Maraga has finally appointed a three-judge bench to hear a case seeking to block the construction of the controversial multi-billion Itare dam in Nakuru County.

The three are justices John Mutungi, Kullow Mohamed and Dalmas Ohungo.

The judges will now determine whether the construction of the Sh38 billion dam in Kuresoi South will proceed or not.

Justice Sila Munyao on Thursday said the CJ had appointed the three to here and determine the matter.

OPPOSE

A the Kipsigis, Luo, Kuria, Abagusii and Ogiek communities are opposed to the project.

They had on June 14 made an application seeking for the intervention of the CJ in the matter.

Through their lawyer James Mwamu, the elders drawn from the counties of Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay, Siaya, Kisii, Nyamira, Narok, Bomet and Kericho argued that the matter was too weighty and sensitive to be left in the hands of a single judge.

According to the elders the and raises serious environmental issues affecting the nine counties.

The case was before the Environment and Land Court in Nakuru.

DRY LANDS

In the main suit filed in 2016, the elders sued Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, his Environment and Natural Resources counterpart Judy Wakhungu, and the Rift Valley Water Services Board for disregarding necessary steps when constructing the project.

The elders complained that the project would directly affect water supply to their counties and render them dry lands.

They said the dam will result in drying up of seven rivers namely Ndoinet, Songol, Chemosit, Tariganbei, Kipsonoi, Nyongores and Sondu.

They stated that the construction of the dam in the Mau Water Tower complex will turn the region into a desert in a few years.

The case will now be heard on November 27.

The dam is being constructed at Ndoinet area and is projected to serve a population of 800,000 people in Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro, Rongai and Nakuru town.

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.

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