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Ndagara moves motion on proposed construction of High Grand Falls Dam

Tharaka MCA Godfrey Muthengi Ndagara moved a motion about the proposed construction of KSh425billion High Grand Falls Dam in the County Assembly of Kitui on Friday.

Tharaka Ward MCA Muthengi Ndagara (pictured) moved the motion on the proposed building of KSh425billion High Grand Falls Dam in the County Assembly of Kitui. The motion is scheduled to continue next week./Courtesy

The project will be undertaken by the national government. Some of the wards in Kitui County to be affected by the multibillion project will be Tharaka and Tseikuru wards. The United Kingdom will fund the project in a partnership Kenya secured with UK to be undertaken in energy and agriculture sectors.

In Tharaka Nithi County, six locations will be affected by the High Grand Falls dam.  They are all in Tharaka constituency. They are Marimanti, Gituma, Kamarandi, Maragwa, Kirukuma and Kamwathu locations.

The project was inked in Egypt when President Dr William Ruto met UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this month.

Benefits of the dam

While underscoring the benefits of the dam to the locals, MCA Ndagara criticised the government for dragging its feet in compensating the residents who will be displaced by High Grand Falls.

In a 2012 report, Tana and Athi River Development Authority (Tarda) said that an estimated 4500 families will be affected by the project. Leaders and residents in Tharaka Nithi County have opposed the construction since they view it as not able to offer adequate compensation to them. They also took issue with the relocation that is expected to make them leave their ancestral homes.

It is expected that residents who live in the area to be constructed the grand dam will be relocated.

While giving an update on its official Facebook page, County Assembly of Kitui informed residents that debate on the motion is scheduled to continue next week. Tseikuru MCA Kimanzi Muange seconded Ndagara’s motion. He is the new Environment, Energy and Mineral Investments Committee chairperson in the Assembly, a docket which will be key in handling the High Grand Falls dam debate. “While seconding the Motion, Hon Daniel Kimanzi Muange (MCA Tseikuru Ward) reiterated the importance of this project terming it a second mega project after the SGR project and urged members to fully support it”, said the Speaker Kevin Kinengo Katisya-led assembly.

The project will straddle Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Kitui counties. It is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor projects aimed at helping the country achieve the Vision 2030.

Ndagara’s motion echo Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s views about compensation of affected residents. Speaking in Itung’uni village in Tseikuru ward earlier this month, Kalonzo said the affected residents should be adequately compensated. “People must be given adequate monetary compensation so that they can choose where to resttle and not be forced into a settlement scheme”, he said.

The leaders urged the government to consult residents for them to appreciate the importance of the grand project as they are relocated.


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