Uhuru cancels Ksh.22B Kimwarer Dam project after receiving fresh report


Uhuru cancels Ksh.22B Kimwarer Dam project after receiving fresh report
President Uhuru Kenyatta receives Report on Kimwarer and Arror Dam Projects on September 18, 2019. PHOTO| PSCU

In Summary

  • In its report, the committee led by Principal Secretary for Infrastructure Prof. Paul Maringa noted that while both projects were overpriced, the Ksh.22 billion Kimwarer Dam is neither technically nor financially viable and should therefore be discontinued.
  • The team, which reviewed the designs, technical sustainability and financial proposals of both dams, says it was satisfied that the Arror Multipurpose Dam Project, despite being over priced, is economically viable and ought to be completed under a cost rationalisation plan.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the immediate cancellation of the Kimwarer Dam Project and a fresh commencement of the Arror Multipurpose Dam Project.

This comes after a technical committee formed to assess the viability of the controversial Kimwarer and Arror Dam Projects in Elgeyo Marakwet County submitted its report to the Head of State on Wednesday.

The committee led by Principal Secretary for Infrastructure Prof. Paul Maringa submitted that while both projects were overpriced, the Ksh.22 billion Kimwarer Dam is “neither technically nor financially viable” and should therefore be discontinued.

“His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta has accepted the report on the two dam projects as prepared and presented by the Technical Committee and directed as follows: (a) The immediate cancelation of the Kimwarer Dam project which was found to be technically and financially not feasible by the Technical Committee.

“(b) The immediate commencement of the implementation of the Arror Multipurpose Dam project with the new design components and cost rationalization plan as developed by the Technical Committee,” said State House spokesperson Kanze Dena in a statement.

The team, which reviewed the designs, technical sustainability and financial proposals of both dams, says it was satisfied that the Arror Multipurpose Dam Project, despite being over priced, is economically viable and ought to be completed.

Further on the Kimwarer Dam, the committee established that no current reliable feasibility study had been conducted on the dam project.

According to the committee, the only feasibility study carried out on a similar project was 28 years ago and had revealed a geological fault across the 800 acre project area, which would have negative structural effects on the proposed dam.

The Technical Committee also established that the Kimwarer project area is settled and would require compensation of displaced residents.

“The water supply mechanism would involve pumping, an aspect the Technical Committee found to be unsustainable in terms of operations and maintenance costs… The pumping would make the project financially unsustainable in the long run,” said the committee.

“Therefore, the Technical Committee recommended to the President that the Kimwarer Dam project be discontinued.”

On the Arror Multipurpose Dam Project, the team recommended to the President a cost rationalisation plan that will ensure the project is implemented cost effectively without affecting its performance and out put.

“As part of the cost rationalization plan, the Technical Committee has prepared a new Bills of Quantities (BQ) for a modified dam with its height scaled down to 60 metres from the original design height of 96 metres which was found to be unviable,” said the team.

Under a cost rationalization plan, the Arror dam is expected to cost taxpayers a maximum of Ksh15.4 billion and not Ksh.28.3 billion as earlier estimated.

“The optimized dam will be technically viable since it will only require about 250 acres of land and cost KShs 15.4 billion with power and Shs 13.1 billion without power. The dam was previously estimated to cost KShs 28.3 billion,” said the committee.

The two projects are believed to have been used by top public officials to siphon billions of shillings from public coffers.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and 10 other officials have since been charged over the multibillion-shilling Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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