Ruto Plans Trip to Italy Aiming to Revive Arror and Kimwarer Dam projects

January 16, 2024

President William Ruto has confirmed plans to revive the controversial Sh63 billion Arror and Kimwarer multipurpose dam projects.

Initially launched during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s era, massive corruption scandals marred and halted the projects.

The courts recently acquitted former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich in connection to the scandal, with the trial magistrate pointing the finger at the prosecution for bungling the case.

President Ruto, who included these two projects in his 2022 campaign pledges, is now preparing to travel to Italy in an effort to revitalize Arror and Kimwarer multipurpose dam projects.

On Sunday, the President announced his intention to lead a delegation of national government officials and two governors, Wisley Rotich (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Susan Kihika (Nakuru), to finalize a deal for the revival of the dam projects.

“To move this county forward we have agreed with your leaders on how to revive roads and water projects which have stalled in this area,” Ruto said in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County.

“I spoke to the President of Italy where the investors came from and I agreed that I will go with the governors of Elgeyo Marakwet and Nakuru to Italy this month to expedite the implementation of these projects,” he added.

The head of state said he would be visiting Italy at the invitation of President Sergio Mattarella.

Ruto said the purpose of the visit would be to secure funding for crucial water projects and to conclude agreements regarding the government’s efforts to revitalize the Arror and Kimwarer dam projects, as well as the Itare Dam in Nakuru County.

The Italian head of state visited Kenya in March last year for bilateral talks with his Kenyan counterpart.

Following the meeting, the two leaders declared that they had reached an agreement to recommence the construction of the dams. The deal also included an exemption for the government from paying over Sh12 billion to Italian firms for breach of contract.

As part of the agreement, Ruto declared that the two countries had mutually decided to withdraw the pending court cases related to a prolonged dispute that resulted in the cancellation of the projects during the former Jubilee administration.

He clarified that the Kenyan government is committed to withdrawing cases filed against Italian firms, including CMC Di Ravenna – Itinera JV, which had secured tenders for the construction of the dams.

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