Itare Dam is one of the flagship projects that have been identified by the Government of Kenya that needs to be developed as a matter of priority. The project is under Rift valley Water Services Board (RVWSB) a state corporation operating under the Ministry of Water. The Water Supply project is slowly taking shape, having weathered stormy opposition that threatened to stall it in 2016. The KES 38 billion dam in Nakuru County has been the subject of controversy, including an attempt to stop its construction by the Kipsigis Council of Elders and opposition leaders.
The project, which is funded by the Italian government, was picked under the national water master plan as one of Jubilee’s flagship projects. The claim that the dam could lead to desertification and the drying up of rivers Ndoinet, Songol, Chemosit, Tariganbei, Kipsonoi, Nyongores and Sondu made the project unpopular in the project affected areas. Stakeholders demanded more information before its implementation. There have also been fears that the dam could adversely affect wildlife, including those in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Through various studies, the proposed Itare Dam site was identified as the most viable long term source of water to address water shortages in Nakuru Municipality, Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro and Rongai areas.
The dam will have a capacity to yield 100,000m3/day. The proposed project components comprise 57m high dam, 100,000m3/day water Treatment Works, 1.2m diameter 113km pipeline, 14.5Km Bulk Transfer tunnel, water distribution improvement works, sewerage network and treatment works. The project will serve over 800,000 people in Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro, Rongai and Nakuru Town. The National treasury signed a Loan Agreement with BNP Paribas Fortis and Intesa Sanpaolo of Italy on 15th July 2015 towards the funding of the project. Despite the opposition, construction began in earnest and the dam is expected to be completed in 2020.
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