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Demos rock Itare dam construction works in Kuresoi

More than 200 residents of Ndoinet Village in Kuresoi North staged a demonstration at Itare Dam construction site on Wednesday morning demanding compensation.

The residents belong to a group of more than 600 residents who were displaced following the construction of the controversial dam.

SH34 BILLION

They want the project halted until they are compensated for their land.                       

Activities at the Sh34 billion dam were paralysed after the protesting residents blocked a road leading to the construction site.

The project is the largest of its kind undertaken in the South Rift after the Sh 5.5 billion Chemususu Dam which President Kenyatta commissioned early this year.

Construction of Itare started last year.

57-METRE

With a capacity to yield 100,000m3 of water a day, the 57-metre high dam being built by the Rift Valley Water Services Board was expected to solve water problems in Nakuru County and its environs.

The project, however, has faced opposition since inception from Kipsigis elders and leaders allied to the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy, who claimed it would dry up the Mau water catchment areas.

The Kipsigis Council of Elders had moved to court in an attempt to block the construction works but the case was dismissed.

600 FAMILIES

A part from compensation, there were also claims that an environmental impact assessment was not carried out before the project took off.

Last month, while on a voter registration campaign visit in Nakuru, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave the mega dam a clean bill of health and hit out at ODM leader Raila Odinga and his Cord brigade over their opposition to the project.

on Wednesday, the protesting residents, who claimed that they represented more than displaced 600 families, accused the Rift Valley Water Services Board of derailing the compensation and giving them empty promises.

They gave the government and the board a two-day ultimatum to respond to their demands, failure to which they threaten to storm the construction site and destroy all machines and everything on the site.

800,000 PEOPLE

They also demanded that the board come clean on the exact amount that was being used on the project.

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.

The dam was picked under the national water master plan as one of the government’s flagship projects.

It was projected to serve a population of 800,000 people in Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro, Rongai and Nakuru Town.

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