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Kipsigis Council of Elders oppose construction of dam

 From left Chairman Kipsigis clans Joseph Kimeto, Deputy secretary Samson Malel and Edwin Kimeto Secretary Kipsigis council of Elders flanked by other elders during a press conference in Nkuru on September 9,2016.PHOTO:KIPSANG JOSEPH

The Kipsigis Council of Elders has moved to court to stop the construction of the Sh38 billion Itare dam in Kuresoi North.

Council chairperson Joseph Kimetto claimed the mega dam would divert rivers from Mau and Ndoinet forest to Nakuru and Baringo counties.

Addressing journalists in Nakuru, Kimetto said they had filed the petition at a time when the courts were in recess and the matter could not be addressed.

"No orders were issued today and the matter was postponed to a later date, the file had been referred to Mombasa and is yet to be returned," he said.

The elders are seeking a permanent injunction barring the Rift Valley Water Services Board, Water Cabinet Secretary and the Attorney General from going on with the construction. Instead, they want the respondents ordered to carry out a restoration programme at the site.

In their affidavit, the elders claimed the dam would turn the area into an arid landscape.

They claimed the area would experience acute water shortage, and agriculture would be adversely affected.

These, they said, were adequate reasons to have the construction of the dam stopped by the Government.

The elders had raised their objections with Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa during his visit to Kericho County. Wamalwa had promised they would be supplied with water once the dam was complete.

"The Government should reconsider its position failure to which we will rethink our political position," said Kimetto.

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