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Resettle us before dam project starts, locals tell KVDA

Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi

Plans by the government to construct Kimwarer-Talaal dam  in Elgeyo Marakwet county at a cost of Sh28 billion hangs in the balance after residents targeted for eviction vowed to stay put until they are resettled.

Speaking during a public meeting organised by Kerio Valley Development Agency (KVDA), they said they would not surrender their land demanding full information regarding the implementation of the project.

The community issued a raft of demands they want addressed before the project kicks off key among them compensation, relocation arrangements, employment of local youths and corporate investment initiatives.

The meeting was attended by  KVDA chairman Jackson Kiptanui, chief executive David Kimosop and other top managers.

“We have never been contacted before yet KVDA claims to have conducted more than 60 citizen engagement meetings about this project. Some people have been visiting and measuring our land without our consent,” said Hellen Ruto, a resident.

However,  Kiptanui apologised for failing to involve the host county government regarding some of the concerns raised by the community.  “From now henceforth, we shall ensure you are engaged fully. We shall notify the office of the Governor and the County Assembly about our activities in the region,” he said.

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