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Nyamira residents give nod to Sh5b water project

By Stanley Ongwae | Published Fri, October 13th 2017 at 00:00, Updated October 12th 2017 at 22:44 GMT +3
Masaba North OCPD Philip Wambugu addresses residents of Bonyunyu where the Government plans to construct a Sh5 billion dam. [Stanley Ongwae, Standard]

IN SUMMARY

  • The Sh5 billion project has been facing opposition from locals
  • The project is being funded by the Government of Netherlands
  • The dam will supply water to major towns in Kisii and Nyamira counties

Residents of Bonyunyu have agreed to support the construction of a controversial Sh5 billion dam along River Gucha.

More than 200 villagers living near the river who had initially resisted the project came to an agreement following talks involving the Lake Victoria South Water Services Board (LVSWSB) and local leaders. The dam will serve urban areas in Nyamira and Kisii counties.

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The residents had cited various reasons for resisting construction of the water reservoir, chief of them being alleged lack of commitment in compensating them.

"Initially, there were so many misconceptions about the dam, which made the people oppose its construction in this area. But now we are fully informed about it and it is something we have welcomed," said Omwenga Onyambu, the spokesperson for the villagers.

According to LVSWSB director Victor Omanwa, the dam will transform the surrounding areas socio-economically.

"We are not looking at the dam in plain terms but the integral significance it is going to have in the locality. For example, there will be employment opportunities as a result of the project," Mr Omanwa said while addressing a stakeholders' meeting about the water project being funded by The Netherlands.

The meeting was also attended by Masaba North Deputy County Commissioner Benson Reparmasou, Masaba North security team led by OCPD Philip Wambugu and LVSWSB Director Hellen Makone.

Gachuba Ward Representative Isaac Nchore, who was invited together with Kitutu Masaba MP Shadrack Mose, did not attend the forum.

However, Mr Mose said in a phone interview he was supporting the project.

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