The Proposed Crocodile Jaw Dam on Ewaso Ng’iro River

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Background

An announcement was made in 2013 by the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation that the “Crocodile Jaw Dam” will be built on Ewaso Ng’iro River at Oldonyiro in Isiolo County to supply water to the proposed Isiolo Resort City. The dam will be on the border between Isiolo and Laikipia Counties.

Once completed, the dam will benefit three counties in the region.

Cost of the Project

The dam construction is expected to cost Ksh. 10 billion. This is one of the projects under LAPSSET corridor that will be financed by Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia governments as well as private developers in a Public Private Project arrangement.

Opposition

In 2014 the Carmel Caravan made up of community groups, pastoralists in the affected areas walked for an excess of 100 kilometers to register their approval for the proposed project. The walk started from Nyahururu and Merti to the Archers Post.

The campaign was dubbed “walk and sing for Ewaso Nyiro River.” The protestors were against the dam because of what they termed as negative impact on wildlife and people residing downstream. This includes wildlife on Shaba, Samburu National Reserve and several other conservancies.

Recently I was privileged to sit with with some community members and representatives of the civil society organizations where the dam was one of the agendas under discussion. A large number of people were not in support of the project until they get involved in the planning process.

One of the reasons given for dam construction was that it will control flooding downstream. One of the participants said that in Merti they have no problem with flooding because it expands their grazing lands.

“Sisi tumejua kuhama na Ewaso Ng’iro.” Shandee Abdullah said during the meeting.

This is loosely translated as “we know how to migrate with River Ewaso Ng’iro.” He was referring to the seasonality and flooding of the river.

Current uses of Ewaso Ng’iro River

Currently Ewaso Ng’iro River is the lifeline for pastoralists and farmers in Ngaremara, Chari, Burat, Cherab, Garba Tulla and Saricho wards in Isiolo County.

Conclusion

The proposed dam on Ewaso Ng’iro is a hot topic under discussion. We will keep updating this blog article with juicy and most updated information to keep you on the radar.

Keep checking for more!!

 

 

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Editor-in-Chief

Geoffrey Kerosi, economic and public policy analyst based in Nairobi City. Email: geoffrey@kerosi.com. WhatsApp: +254713 639 776 YouTube: Kerosi TV

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