The proposed Soin - Koru Dam is located in Kisumu and Kericho Counties (Nyando & Ainamoi Sub-Counties) across River Nyando, approximately 5km upstream of Muhoroni Town. River Nyando is one of the seven major rivers within the Lake Victoria Basin originating from the upper highland areas and flows into Lake Victoria.
The Dam is one of the two large dam projects in Vision 2030 flagship projects meant for flood control among other functions. Other dams in vision 2030 blue print include: Maruba Dam in Machakos County (completed), Chemususu Dam in Koibatek, Baringo County (Completed), Kiserian Dam in Kajiado County (completed), Muruny (Siyoi) Dam in West Pokot County (on-going).
Studies for Soin-Koru Dam were started in 1982 by the Italian government and taken over by National Water Conservation & Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC) in 2009. The Proposed position for embankment is the slopes of Got Alila hill in Muhoroni (Kisumu County) and slopes of Koitatui hill in Soin (Kericho County). An area of 2,500 acres will be acquired for the project with parcels of land in both Kericho and Kisumu counties.
The dam has a water catchment area of 8,175km squire and a storage capacity of 93.7 MM3 It will supply water to a population of 1,707,740 persons in both counties.
Project’s major components
Rockfill dam of 54 m height
Water treatment works of 71,279m3/day
Trunk distribution pipelines of diameters 1200-150mm and of total length of 122.54km
12 No. storage tanks of total capacity of 23,400m3
5MW hydropower generating plant
Development of community water projects at KShs.300 million
Benefits of the project
The dam will alleviate the impacts of floods in the lower reaches of River Nyando. Flooding within lower reaches of Kano plains displaces about 5,000 people yearly costing Kshs. 49 million due to damages and further Kshs. 30 million for rehabilitation measures.
The benefits of the dam also extend to water supply of 71,279m3/day for domestic, commercial and institutional use 80% of which will be gravity flow. All residents near the dam site and downstream of the dam site will be served with water to supplement the existing facilities. The city of Kisumu and the emerging towns of Ahero, Chemilil, Miwani, Muhoroni, Koru, Awasi, Katito, Masogo and Ombeyi will be major beneficiaries.
The areas to be served in Kericho County include Koitaburot and surrounding areas, AlKechiryet, Kapkormom, Koguta, Kipsitet, Soliat, Katito and the surrounding areas. Others include Improvement of Chebululu, Sigowet and Chesiche water projects to increase capacity to serve surrounding schools and communities.
The current water supply for Kisumu Town & the satellite towns is approximately 18,000m3/day against a demand of approx. 66,000m3/day. The proposed dam will provide additional water supply of approx. 71,279m3/day of potable water to a population of 1,707,740 persons. This will augment existing schemes and is sufficient for the regional demand for the next 20 years.
The other dam benefits include increased area under irrigation schemes in and around Ahero and West Kano by 2,500 Ha and also power generation of approximately 2.5 MW. This would be used for pumping water to higher areas while excess power will be sold to Kenya Power. This translates to cheaper water and additional income to the two counties.
Compensation for the land will be done in a fair and transparent way where the views of all the affected persons will be considered which will result in fair and adequate compensation. Further public engagements and consultations with all stakeholders will provide the Authority an opportunity to ensure that consideration is given to stakeholders’ concerns.
The approximate cost for dam & water supply components is KShs.30 Billion while land compensation cost is approximately KShs.2 Billion totaling to KShs.32 Billion. The Government of Kenya will fund the project and has already committed a total of KShs.25 Billion which will undertake compensation and dam component.
The project is divided into two components for ease of implementation as follows:
Lot 1- Dam Component (Dam, hydropower plant & Raw water Main)-estimated to cost KShs.25 billion together with compensation for land.
Lot 2- Water Supply Component (Water treatment works, distribution pipework and storage tanks) (estimated to cost KShs.7 billion).
Procurement for a contractor and supervising consultant for Lot 1 (Dam Component) has commenced in a process scheduled to be completed by end of July 2020.
The Authority is currently holding public participation forums with various stakeholders to ensure smooth implementation of the project. We are also working with the National Lands Commission to ensure any contentious issues relating to land and compensation is resolved amicably.
By Joyce Jepkemboi
19th June, 2020