President William Ruto has set in motion the construction of stalled Arror, Kimwarer and Itare dams following his meeting with visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
The president said the restart of the construction of the dams is part of meeting his administration’s objectives on food security, water supply as well as climate action.
The construction of the three dams stalled a few years ago following a cloud of accusations and counter-accusations between Dr Ruto and former President Uhuru Kenyatta, marking a point of departure that characterized their frosty relations in the run up to the 2022 General Election.
The three dams, Dr Ruto said, the parties have struck a framework on how to settle all the outstanding court cases and the facilities that had been provided for the construction of of these dams will be negotiated so that we can provide for the delivery of the dams.
The court cases led to the sacking of former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich as well as the then the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Kamau Thugge. Mr Thugge is now the President’s fiscal affairs and budget policy advisor while Mr Rotich continues to fight to clear the graft allegations in court.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrived in Kenya yesterday on a four-day official visit and is expected to hold bilataral talks on trade and also speak in a public lecture on climate change at the University of Nairobi.
Itare dam was the very first dam to be awarded to the Italian company in 2014 but, like Arror and Kimwarer, the project has never been concluded.
When cancelling the Kimwarer dam project in 2019, the government, through a statement from State House, claimed that the dam, which by then was to cost Kes22.2 billion, was “neither technically nor financially viable”.
The statement further said that a technical committee “formed following the discovery of irregularities and improprieties” surrounding the Kimwarer and Arror dams, had established that no current reliable feasibility study had been conducted on Kimwarer.