Cost of Itare dam project increases to Sh40 billion

Stalled Itare Dam project in Kuresoi South, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The government’s plan to revive the construction of the Itare dam in Kuresoi North, Nakuru county will cost the taxpayers an extra Sh5 billion.

Initially, the dam whose construction was launched in 2016, was to cost Sh35 billion.

Speaking in Nakuru, Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura said the dam's cost has since risen to Sh40 billion.

Mwaura, who is on a one-week tour of the county, argued that time has moved and other costs have since accumulated.

He said the government will also compensate those who were affected by the project.

“The money that had been set aside was Sh35 billion, our estimate for the project is over Sh40 billion. Some people have to be compensated and other costs increased,” said Mwaura.

He said the Italian Government will fund the project while the Kenya Government will look into the issue of taxes and compensation.

Mwaura revealed that money collected from the supply of water to Nakuru residents will be used to settle the debt.

The project comprises a 57m high dam, 100,000m3/day water treatment plant, 1.2m diameter 113km pipeline, 14.5km bulk transfer tunnel, water distribution improvement works, sewerage network, and treatment works, which were to be completed in April 2021.

It is expected to serve more than 800,000 people in, Molo, Njoro, Rongai, Kuresoi, and Nakuru Town.

Mwaura assured that the government has put in place measures to ensure the completion of the project.

Asked about the construction of more modern markets while others which were completed have never been utilised, he maintained that the government will proceed with the project.

In April, President William Ruto said the government has set aside at least Sh2 billion in the financial year 2023/2024 budget for the construction of markets.

“Why are you saying that some markets are not utilised yet we have started constructing others. Markets will be constructed, and over 20 markets will be constructed here. People need them,” Mwaura said.

He said that even if the markets will not be utilised soon they will be occupied in the future.

Mwaura announced that families affected by floods will get Sh10,000 each.

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