Itare dam project will not dry up rivers,says environmental expert

An environmental expert has told Nakuru High court that the construction of Itare Dam in Kuresoi South will have no negative impact on the rivers downstream.

This follows an Environmental impact assessment conducted.

Testifying on Monday before a three-judge bench that is hearing the case challenging the construction of the dam,Engineer Zablon Oonge who is an expert in matters of environment told the court that the rivers that are said to be affected have no connection with the dam.

He added that only 6 percent of the Sondu system will be affected and that the counties that had been mentioned would not be affected since they have no connection with the Sondu system.

The environmental expert also informed the court that between 6-10 families were initially in the area of the construction of the dam in the land that was apportioned by the government way back in 1982 for the construction of a dam and that later after the locals realized the project was kicking off more than 1000 families moved into the area anticipating compensation.

On public participation,the court heard that the locals had been involved through various meetings where they were sensitized on the impact of the project.

The High Court had summoned the expert who compiled a report on the environmental impact of the multibillion shilling Itare dam project in Nakuru County.

The matter is being heard by a bench of three judges  John Mutungi, Dalmas Ohungo and Mohamed Kuno.

The environmental expert had been summoned to provide more information on the issues such as public participation, and the adverse effects of the project as well as the mitigation measures in place.

The three separate petitions were filed by filed by the Luo Council of Elders, the Kipsigis Council of Elders and the Ecosystems Social Economic Development Organisation.

 

In the three cases, filed in 2016, the petitioners sued the then Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, his Environment and Natural Resources counterpart Judi Wakhungu and the Rift Valey Water and Sanitation Board for allegedly not taking the necessary steps when implementing the project.

 

 

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