KFS downplays effect of Mau Forest dams on water catchment [VIDEO]

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The construction of three mega-dams at Kenya’s biggest water tower will not affect the ecosystem, KFS chairman Peter Kinyua has said.

He said proper environmental assessments had been done to ensure minimum disturbance by Chemususu, Itare and Bosto dams.

Experts and residents drew criticism saying the dams, which will cost billions of shillings, pose greater risks to the environment.

They said that the dam projects could also end up reducing water supplies for rivers downstream as well as affect water availability.

“The dams will be completed with minimum effect on the ecosystem,” Kinyua told journalists on Wednesday.

However, Emilio Mugo, chief conservator, said: “It is a tough balancing act for the government and KFS between conserving the forest and providing water for the growing populations.”

Mugo added that although KFS was opposed to the idea of building a third mega-dam in the Mau Forest Complex, it had to consider that water was a necessity and the government had to provide it.

The two addressed the press at Nakuru KFS offices.

They were accompanied by Rhino Ark’s executive director Christian Lambrechts and other senior KFS officials.

The presser was held after the group toured Maasai Mau, Eastern Mau and the South Western parts of Mau bordering Trans Mara.

Kinyua said that concerns being raised about massive destruction of plantations within the Mau Conservancy is contained.

He said the agency is considering proposing a different site for Bosto Dam which is set to use up an approximated 2,000hectares of the forest.

The dams’ construction have been resisted by residents, with some moving to court to challenge the projects.