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Proposed Mega Dam on River Ewaso Ng’iro, Kenya


In early 2013, The National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation announced plans to construct a mega dam on Ewaso Ng’iro River in Isiolo County. The twin dams will be set up at Crocodile Jaws and Ngerendare and it’s principally meant to provide water to the proposed Isiolo resort city, to be set up at Kipsing Gap.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Proposed Mega Dam on River Ewaso Ng’iro, Kenya
State or province:Isiolo County
Location of conflict:Isiolo
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation plans to construct a Ksh 10 Billion mega dam on Ewaso Ng’iro River in Isiolo County.

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Project area:13,000
Level of Investment:116,279,069
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:4,000,000
Company names or state enterprises:National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation from Kenya
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Planning and Devolution; Water Resource Management Authority; Ministry of Environment Water and Natural Resources.
International and Finance InstitutionsWetlands International (WI)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Nature Kenya; Laikipia WildLife Forum; Nature Conservation Kenya; Save the Elephants; Wetlands International; African Wildlife Forum; Red Cross Kenya; Waso Nyiro River Users Empowerment Platform (WRUEP).
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
100km long caravan walk
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsLoss of habitat for wildlife
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Negotiated alternative solution
Development of alternatives:The local community should be involved in decision making, since their source of livelihood is at stake.
A balanced and comprehensive assessment of all options should be conducted, giving social and environmental aspects the same significance as technical, economic and financial factors.
Affected communities should be able to negotiate mutually agreed and legally enforceable agreements to ensure the implementation of mitigation, resettlement and development entitlements.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite the fact that the local communities and local ejos have raised objections to the project; plans by the government to implement the project are still ongoing without taking into consideration the emerging concerns.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Environmental Management and Coordination Act; Water Act; Wildlife Act; Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Save the Elephants
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Meta information
Contributor:Serah Munguti
Last update24/06/2014
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