June 15, 2013
The Belgium government is set to fund the construction of a multi-billion shillings water dam in Elgeyo Marakwet County Kenya.
The Deputy Governor Gabriel Lagat has disclosed that the water dam project will be situated at Sibor forest in Keiyo South district and it will be funded jointly by the Belgium and Kenya governments to the tune of Ksh 1.5 billion.
He revealed that the interest free loan facility towards the Construction of the dam will be repaid in a period of thirteen years before the project is handed over to the county government.
Lagat stated that upon its completion, the project will serve more than 64,000 residents within Iten town, which is the county Headquarters, and its environs who have been facing acute shortage of the commodity for decades.
Among the public institutions along the Kerio Valley set to benefit from the water project are Tambach teachers training college, Tambach sub-district hospital and Tambach Boys High School.
The government, he stated, has already given the green light to the county government to undertake the construction of the project whose work will commence after one year.
“Feasibility studies and design work at the site have already been done and approved by the government and what is remaining is for the work to start in due course,” said Lagat.
The Deputy Governor pointed out that the multibillion shillings project was initiated by the Rift Valley Water Board four years but stalled along the way due to lack of adequate funding.
Speaking to the journalists at his Iten office, Lagat said the Governor, Alex Tolgos is set to travel to Belgium next week to sign an agreement for funding of the water dam project.
He reiterated that the construction of the dam now attract more local and international investors to set up their business in the area to spur social and economic development.
“Perennial water shortage has been a major impediment to the growth of Iten town and its surroundings, besides, scaring away potential investors for many years,” said Lagat.
Although the multi-billion shillings Chebara water dam is situated in Marakwet West district in the county none of the locals access the commodity as it is pumped directly to Eldoret town in Uasin Gishu County.
This has been a source of long standing bad relation between the local community and Eldoret water and Sanitation Company, the custodian of the project signed between it and a donor agency twenty years ago.
The residents have been threatening to disconnect the pipes which supply water to Eldoret town and its environs for being denied to enjoy their resources despite protecting the nearby forest for decades.
Their constant threat has forced the government to deploy a contingent team of security personnel to the site to guard the facility.