The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) has voiced its objection to the proposed Bosto Dam construction inside the South-West Mau Forest Reserve. The proposed dam in Bomet County to be built by the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation is a threat to the critical ecosystem that hosts rich biodiversity, the EAWLS has argued.
EAWLS, KFWG and its several partner conservation organisations have jointly submitted their comments on the ESIA study report of the proposed project to the Director General, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA). In their submission the consortium strongly objected to the approval of the ESIA study report by NEMA. The report which proposed that the project be situated inside the forest reserve.
In its letter to NEMA, the consortium pointed to a misleading statement in the Environmental and Social Impact Study Report on the dam that states that the project will be located some kilometres away from the edge of Mau Forest, yet, according to the coordinates provided, it is clear that the dam will be located within South-West Mau Forest Reserve.
The study fails to account for the exact total forest land area to be affected, but acknowledges that there will be loss of parts of the indigenous forest when access roads and a water pipeline are constructed. That would militate against Kenya’s effort to expand the country’s forest cover to 10 percent.
“We appreciate the importance of dam construction as a source of water that supports rural livelihoods and spurs economic growth,” said Julius Kamau, EAWLS Executive Director. “However, we strongly object to the proposed location of the Dam.”
“Some glaring omissions of key main stakeholders like the National Land Commission (NLC) and Community Forest Association in the preliminary stakeholder mapping puts into question the level of stakeholder participation in the EIA Report preparation process,” said Mr. Kamau.
“EAWLS has learnt that some other three dams have also been proposed to be constructed inside forests in different part of the country. Such attempts must be objected as they are in direct contravention of the forest conservation and management Act, and negate the intent of the constitution that provide for 10% forest cover,” said Mr. Kamau.