The Government will build three dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County at a cost of Sh 80billion to generate electricity and provide water for irrigation, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
Mr. Ruto said plans to construct the dams at Arror, Embobut and Kimwarer Rivers will see the country generate additional 125megawatts of energy besides providing water for domestic and irrigation purposes upon their completion.
“We want to improve the lives of our people through initiation of projects that can enable them engage in meaningful development activities,” said Mr. Ruto.
Addressing wananchi at St. Patrick’s School, Iten in Elgeyo Marakwet County during a prize giving ceremony on Saturday, the Deputy President said the Government was committed to implementing the promises it made to Kenyans.
MPs Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), James Murgor (Keiyo North), Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), William Kisang (Marakwet West), Susan Chebet (Elgeyo Marakwet) and John Waiganjo (Ol Jororok) were present.
Others were Governors Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), Jackson Mandago (Uasin-Gishu) and several Principal Secretaries among them Kipsang Belio (Education).
Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) Managing Director David Kimosop said the authority will roll out the construction of the dams before the end of the year once the National Treasury releases the funds.
Mr. Kimosop said the completion of the dams will irrigate 8,000 hectares of land as well as supply water to about 100,000 households in the area.
“We are consulting with the National Treasury so that we roll out the projects probably before end of the year,” said Mr. Kimosop.
The Deputy President also assured Kenyans that the Government was committed to ensuring equity, full access and quality education services at all levels.
Mr. Ruto asked all those charged with institutional management to ensure resources were well utilized.
Praising St. Patrick’s for its strong foundation on matters of accountability that has led to improved academic performance for decades, the Deputy President said managers of learning institutions should be at the front in ensuring accountability and good governance.
“In order for us to reap full benefits from investments in education, we must manage our institutions finances prudently,” said Mr. Ruto.
“As part of our commitment to ensuring education for all, the Government has relieved parents the burden of paying standard eight and form four examination fees besides increasing capitation for Secondary Schools,” he added.
The Deputy President further assured Kenyans that the Government has sealed all the loopholes that led to cheating in last year’s examinations.
“You all know that we dissolved the exam board over irregularities in last year’s secondary examinations and put in place stringent measures to ensure students get the fruits of their hard work,” said Mr. Ruto.
He added: “The issue of exam cheating is now behind us. Lets embrace a culture of discipline and hard work if we are to progress well in our careers.”
Mr. Ruto said it was impressive that the Iten district hospital, which has been upgraded to status of a referral facility besides Chebiemit hospital, is now operational courtesy of the equipment recently procured by the Government.
“I am impressed that all the necessary equipment have been installed at the Iten hospital apart from dialysis machine which I understand will soon be delivered. This is impressive,” said Mr. Ruto.
He said the tendering process for the construction of the Iten-Nyaru road was on adding that the Government was committed to opening up the region through improvement of infrastructure.
Senator Murkomen said the initiation of the dams will help solve the problem of water shortages in some parts of the County.
“Plans to build the dams will greatly help residents engage in farming and end perennial food shortages in some parts of the County,” said Mr. Murkomen.
The MPs said the bad situation of roads in the area had hampered movement of goods and services especially during the rainy season.
They said plans to start the tarmac on the Nyaru-Iten and Cheptongei-Kapenguria roads will help the residents transport their farm produce to markets outside the area.
Governor Tolgos urged leaders to work together in addressing challenges facing the County.