Stalled Sh63b Aror, Kimwarer dams will be revived soon, Gachagua now says

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during a consultative meeting on the drought situation in the country at his Harambee House Annex office on January 30, 2023. [DPCS]

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

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 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," he said.

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

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

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 cancelled altogether.

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

"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 athletic 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.

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