The Managing Director, TARDA, Mr Steven Ruimuku together with his team of engineers and staff accompanied the Senator of Tharaka Nithi Professor Kithure Kindiki on a community sensitization Baraza held at Kamarandi and Kamanyaki areas of Tharaka County.
The Baraza was organized to educate and correct misinformation on the proposed High Grand Falls project to be constructed in the area. The construction of the 165 square kilometer High Grand Falls Dam, will cost Kenya Shillings 150 billion and is expected to hold over 5.6 billion cubic meters of water that will be sufficient for irrigation of over 250,000 hectares of land and produce over 700MW of electricity.
The local leaders expressed concerns through the Senator on the issue of displacement following fears that the local community occupying the identified construction site will be resettled in other areas.
Reacting to this misguided information, The Senator, Prof Kindiki, assured the community that, the Government did not have any plans to resettle the residents, instead, it will compensate the affected people who will decide where else to buy land and settle. He further requested the Managing Director TARDA to have more sensitization forums.
According to the sentiments of the Managing Director TARDA, Mr Steven Ruimuku, the project will be of many benefits to the community and the republic. some of the benefits he highlighted are
- Improved infrastructure
- Flood Mitigation
- Food security
In addition to these benefits, the TARDA MD said that an additional six earth dams will be built upstream to cater for irrigation. he further added that a massive sensitization for the whole area will be launched as soon as funds are available.
On completion in six years, the High Grand Falls will be the second biggest dam in Africa after the 5,250 square kilometer Aswan High Dam in Egypt along the River Nile. The project was approved by President Kibaki’s Government in 2009 as part of an ambitious endeavor to build 1,000 water reservoirs across the country for irrigation based agriculture.