Sh63 billion Kimwarer, Aror dams will be revived soon, says Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. [File, Standard]

The government will soon revive the construction of two multi-billion dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County, according to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

The construction of the two mega dams, Aror and Kimwarer, was halted in 2019 after controversies, including allegations of corruption, emerged. 

The DP, who spoke during a fundraiser in aid of women and youth in Keiyo North on Friday, claimed Aror and Kimwarer dams, which were to be constructed in Marakwet East and Keiyo South sub-counties respectively, were stopped over the political rivalry between President William Ruto and his former boss Uhuru Kenyatta.

The establishment of the two dams at a cost of Sh 63 billion ran into controversies that led to the sacking of then Treasury CS Henry Rotich among other top government officials in 2019.

Following the controversy, the cost of Aror dam was scaled down from Sh35 billion to Sh15 billion but even then, its construction did not start.

The proposed Kimwarer dam on the other hand was canceled.

“The construction of Aror and Kimwarer dams was cancelled because of retrogressive politics. They wanted to stop government projects in President Ruto’s backyard in a scheme to make him unpopular. The DCI used falsehoods and unsubstantiated corruption claims to suspend government officials,” said Gachagua.

In 2021, an Italian company contracted to construct the two dams sued the Kenya government at the International Court of Arbitration demanding payment of more than Sh11 billion over the cancellation of the projects.

Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich at a Milimani court on December 05, 2022, when he appeared over Kimwarer and Arror dam scandal case. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

“The contractor had taken the government to a court in the UK for breach of contract and that would be costly to the country. But we pleaded with the contractor to withdraw the case so we avoid the huge penalties. He will be on site soon,” Gachagua said.

The DP also said construction of the stalled Kamariny Stadium, abandoned in 2020, will also resume in the new financial year.

“Kamariny stadium was stopped after leaders from the Rift Valley rejected BBI. You can’t punish young athletics talents because of a stand taken by a leader who lives in Nairobi,” said Gachagua.

Leaders who accompanied Gachagua to the event held at Iten grounds hailed the state for taming banditry along the Kerio Valley belt cutting across Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Turkana.

Mr Gachagua said the security apparatus will not allow armed bandits to kill people and steal livestock in the region.

He said the joint operation, launched by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, is yielding fruit. “The banditry nonsense has now stopped and the guns have gone silent. We will not allow bandits to kill innocent people when we have a government in place.”

Gachagua was flanked by CSs Moses Kuria (Trade), Kipchumba Murkomen (Roads) and Simon Chelugui (Cooperatives).

Governor Wisley Rotich and several MPs graced the occasion organized by Keiyo North MP Adams Kipsanai.