Water and Irrigation Principal Secretary Fred Segor has assured Makueni residents affected by construction of Thwake multipurpose dam and who are yet to be compensated that they will receive their money before actual construction begins.
Segor said the government will by August fully compensate the remaining 186 landowners displaced by the project.
In a maximum of five months we will have processed and paid the balance of Sh 650 million, he said.
A total of 1,792 persons affected by the project have already received compensation totaling to Sh 2.8 billion, according to the PS.
We have already done 90 percent of the compensation process, the remaining 10 percent are residents whose lands are at the periphery of the project, he added.
Segor spoke Tuesday at Mavindini during the signing of the access right certificate with China Gezhouba Company, the firm contracted to construct the multi-purpose dam.
He noted that although preliminary works would kick off immediately, no actual works will begin before all residents are compensated.
The PS said the first phase of the dam to be constructed at the confluence of rivers Thwake and Athi in Makueni and Kitui counties will take 56 months to complete.
Today marks the start of the project which when complete will produce more than 700 million cubic metres of water that will be used for irrigation, domestic use and hydroelectric purposes, said Segor.
The PS said the irrigation component of the project will address food security in the region and will help in achieving the big four agenda set by the Jubilee government.
We shall have 100,000 hectares of land under irrigation to improve on our food security, added the PS.
He noted that the dam will also create more than 500,000 jobs and urged residents to embrace the project.
Job opportunities will be created both on the formal and informal sector as the dam is expected to be the main supplier of water for the Konza Technopolis, said Segor.
The chair of Persons Affected by the Project (PAPs) Peter Makuu urged the government to fast track the compensation for the remaining residents.
Makuu praised the government for its commitment in the project that he said was proposed during the colonial times.
It has been a long journey and a dream come true since 1962, he said.
Present also was Secretary State Department of Irrigation, Stephen Ikua County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed and County Ward Representative Jonathan Kimongo.
Source: Kenya News Agency