National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has granted provisional approval for the implementation of the Koru-Soin Dam Project which will cost Sh32billion.
The facility to be built-in Kisumu County in the west of the country will provide water for community supply, irrigation and a small hydropower plant.
The National Treasury has already allocated Sh5billion to start construction and another at least Sh2billion will be spent on compensation for those affected.
The remaining Sh18 billion going to the dam and water supply components.
The dam will have a reservoir covering over 1,000 hectares, affecting 360 parcels of land, of which 230 and 130 are in Kisumu and Kericho counties.
The Koru-Soin multi-purpose dam project was expected to fully enter its construction phase by September 2020.
National Water Harvesting Storage Authority Chairman Erick Okeyo said that the selected company will directly undertake the work to deliver the reservoir within 5 years.
According to Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o, the affected households on the 2, 500 acres of land in Kisumu and Kericho counties have been engaged to pave way for the construction of the dam.
“The national government is now working out modalities for compensation of the affected people on the 360 parcels of land ahead of the construction of the multi-purpose dam,” he said.
The Kisumu county boss further added that this is good news because once construction is completed the dam will be a lasting solution to the perennial floods downstream River Nyando which has left a trail of destruction worth billions of shillings.
The Koru-Soin Multi-Purpose Dam will be built on the Nyando River, upstream of the town of Muhoroni, in Kisumu County, western Kenya.
The future dam will supply water to the population, irrigate plantations and operate a 2.5 MW hydroelectric power plant.
According to the Kisumu County Government, the water retention will provide relief to the people of Kisumu and Kericho towns, especially those in the Nyando Basin who are regularly affected by floods.
The dam is expected to provide an additional 71,279 m³ per day of drinking water supply to more than 1.7 million people living in the counties of Kericho, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Kisii.
Upon completion, the dam will also act as a sediment trap, reducing sediment build-up downstream, which is the main cause of flooding and ensure regulation of the river flow, thus providing water for irrigation all year round.
The reservoir will also offer opportunities in fishing and water-based tourism activities.