Kimwarer, Elgeyo Marakwet County: The controversial multi-billion Kimwarer multipurpose Dam project in Kimwarer has drawn much interest from the public and media as DCI continues investigations over misappropriated public funds. The project is located on Kimwarer river. Kimwarer is a village is the Elgeyo -Marakwet County on the Southern part of the Kerio Valley, along the B54 road between Eldoret and Tenges. The latest revelations have drawn interest and focus on the local leadership, from DP Ruto, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, Senator Murkomen and Women Representative Susan Kiketer Chebet. the Arror proposed dam in Kipsaiya, along the same river in the Kerio Valley. Cherangany MP Hon. Joshua Kutuny has been vocal for thorough investigations to be done on the culprits put to book.
The project which was to commence a year ago is yet to begin. It seems the DCI sudden inquest has caused the Kerio Valley Development Project to spur into action, maybe to save face. The dam is expected to provide improved food security and improved livelihoods to the communities in the area. It is projected that over 20MW of electric power will be generated to bolster the national power supply. The dam will provide water for irrigation to around 2,000 Ha of land so as to support the country’s food security. Water is essential too, and the dam will ensure reliable water supply for industrial and domestic use.
With a contract value of over 123 million Euros, the scrutiny of the proposed dam has had damning revelations, and drawn much debate of exactly how the construction and development of the dam will be done. Already 107 companies have been rounded by the DCI in connection with an alleged scam concerning both the Kimwarer and Arror proposed dams. The funds to kick start and finance the project were loaned from the Italian government, and a contract was drawn between the Treasury and CMC di Ravenna. The contract stipulated that 15% of the total sum contracted was to be paid as down payment to facilitate mobilization of resources and meet design costs. A total of 2,400 Ha of land will be required for construction, whereby 20,000 will be acquired from private land and 400 from the forest reserve. KVDA stated that already preliminary activities have been done by the contractor, including project and quarry surveys, Geo-technical and seismic investigations. Considering such as substantial amount is already paid, major initiatives should already have been taken like starting sensitization compensation of citizens from the private land to be by the project, site setting and machinery mobilization. Nothing of the sort has occurred, with the residents unaware of such a mega project in their vicinity.
The issue of the amounts paid and accountability of the same a year down the line with nothing on site has been the main bone of contention. Media reports stated an amount reaching up to Kenya Shillings21 billion that were paid to CMC di Ravenna, the Italina contractor. KVDA refuted this figure, saying it is inflated and too exaggerated, as they put the amount at Ksh. 7.6 billion. Specifically, 4.2 billion for Arror and 3.4 billion for Kimwarer, paid back in November 2018. Whereas this seem to be the validated stand of KVDA, DCI on the other hand is adamant that based on evidence they have as obtained from the treasury, over 20.9 billion has already been paid to the contractor.
Details of the Kimwarer dam payments, as reported by the DCI to the media are as broken down below:
- Advance payment: 4.99 billion
- Commitment fee: 3.5 billion
- Insurance: 418 million
- TOTAL: 8.9 Billion
Well, rather than
speculate, it is advised to wait for the DCI to finish its investigation and
provide a comprehensive report so as to know the way forward. However, with the
cross fire between politicians who accuse the DCI of being used for witch
hunting, the investigation body needs to come clean and provide a solid claim
to their allegations, as the fight against corruption heats up.