Kenya’s National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority expects construction of the US $388 million Koru-Soin multipurpose dam to begin soon, following the completion of a feasibility study and project designs.
“We have completed the designs for the project and the Government will allocate money, because it has fully committed to ensuring that it will be implemented,” said the authority’s acting CEO, Geoffrey Sang. “We have planned for the process of public participation to begin; the public must be engaged, especially as a number of people will need to be displaced, to pave the way for the construction of the dam,” Sang added.
The project, which will be on the river Nyando near the town of Muhoroni in western Kenya, is designed to: control flooding, supply water for domestic and industrial consumers in the city of Kisumu and the satellite towns of Ahero, Awasi, Muhoroni, and Koitaburot; supply the existing irrigation schemes of Ahero and West Kano; and, generate power at an associated 2 MW hydropower plant.
The project, which is expected, by 2035, to provide 102 000 m3/day of water to a population of 1.71 million, is also expected to end water shortages in the neighbouring counties of Kericho, Nandi and Kisumu. The dam, which was initially plan-ned in the 1980s, will act as a sediment trap, reducing sediment build-up downstream, which is the main cause of flooding. It will also ensure regulation of the river flow, thus providing for irrigation all year round. The reservoir will also offer opportunities for fishing and water-based tourism. Flooding during the wet seasons and prolonged drought during the dry seasons characterize the lower reaches of the Nyando river basin. The situation has led to scarcity of food and water, resulting in high poverty levels.