Dams saga: Report says projects were overpriced, President orders Kimwarer cancellation

President Uhuru Kenyatta has received and sanctioned the report on Kimwarer and Arror dams from the technical committee he formed following the discovery of irregularities and improprieties surrounding the two infrastructure projects.

The report recommends the immediate cancelation of the Kimwarer project which was found to be technically and financially not feasible.

It gives Arror project the green light but notes it was overpriced and it’s implementation be only undertaken as per a new design components and cost rationalization plan, which the committtee has already developed.

The committee, chaired by Principal Secretary for infrastructure – Paul Maringa, also included Quantity Surveyor Julius Matu and engineers Benjamin Mwangi and John Muiruri and was tasked to assess the viability of the two dam projects.

They were to report to the Head of State within 30 days.

“In the course of their assignment, the Technical Committee reviewed the designs, technical sustainability and financial proposals of both dams,” said State House spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo in a statement.

Kimwarer Dam

The KSh22.2 billion project was found to have been overpriced, technically and financially unviable.

The committee found that the only feasibility study carried out on a similar project 28 years ago had revealed a geological fault across the 800-acre project area, which would have negative structural effects on the proposed dam.

It also established the project area was settled and would require compensation of displaced residents.

“According to the technical design of the Kimwarer Dam, the water supply mechanism would involve pumping, an aspect the Technical Committee found to be unsustainable in terms of operations and maintenance costs.

“Further, the Technical Committee established that the pumping would make the project financially unsustainable in the long run.”

Arror viability

“After a detailed technical review, the Technical Committee was satisfied that the Arror Multipurpose Dam Project is economically viable but noted that it was overpriced.

“As such, the committee recommended to the President a cost rationalisation plan that will ensure the project is implemented cost effectively without affecting its performance and out put.

“As part of the cost rationalization plan, the Technical Committee has prepared a new Bills of Quantities for a modified dam with its height scaled down to 60 metres from the original design height of 96 metres which was found to be unviable.

“The optimized dam will be technically viable since it will only require about 250 acres of land and cost KSh15.4 billion with power and KSh13.1 billion without power.

The dam was previously estimated to cost KSh28.3 billion.


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