The Kerio Valley Development Authority is one of the six Regional Development Authorities in Kenya established by an Act of Parliament in 1979.
It has a mandate to, in part, initiate, plan and develop resources along the Kerio River basin, which covers six counties with an estimated population of about three million people.
These are Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nakuru, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot.
KVDA is the lead government development agency in the North Rift. The Turkwel Hydropower Dam was the first key project undertaken by the development authority, although it was later taken over by KenGen without any compensation to KVDA.
It is also mandated to maintain a liaison between the institutions, government, private sector and other agencies on matters of development, to limit duplication of activities and ensure best use of technical, financial, human and natural resources.
“We are working well with the county government and other development agencies to ensure we harness resources to exploit the huge potential that exists for the benefit of residents and the country,” Kimosop said.
The authority is currently implementing the Tot Mango factory project, which will cost more than Sh100 million. Under Kimosop’s administration, it has completed construction of the southern wing of the KVDA Plaza in Eldoret town, which serves as its headquarters.
The wing was completed at a cost of about Sh400 million. Kimosop also embarked on a restructuring programme to make KVDA economically viable. About 400 staff members have opted for voluntary early retirement, leaving KVDA with a lean and highly productive staff.
“We will remain with only the vital staff and also hire experts, who will drive KVDA’s development agenda, instead of having a bloated workforce that only consumes salaries with no production,” Kimosop said.
He said the authority has identified projects worth more than Sh200 billion, which, if implemented, will awaken the sleeping giant that is Kerio Valley.
Residents say the projects initiated by KVDA have helped to ease their economic burdens. Farmer Jared Kiptoo said, “Through KVDA, we have been trained on beekeeping, environmental conservation and other empowerment programmes.”
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen is among leaders who have been meeting communities to educate them on the need to support the projects because of their economic potential.
“Our people have suffered because of effects of insecurity and poverty, and we welcome such projects that will stimulate economic growth and uplift the well-being of residents,” Murkomen said.
KVDA has a strategic plan through which it seeks to exploit key resources in the region, including geothermal, hydropower, petroleum, mining, tourism, solar and wildlife.
The authority also engaged in livestock multiplication with high-quality breeds of cattle and goats in Chemeron, Chesongoch and Nomotio.
KVDA is currently a producer of pasture seed and is registered by Kephis as a seed merchant. Through the strategic plan, the authority has mapped out projects worth more than Sh200 billion, and is looking for investors to implement them in all the counties it serves.
The Wei Wei Irrigation Project in West Pokot, which is largely funded by the Italian government, was initiated by KVDA and has greatly helped to improve food security in the semi-arid region.
“The Italian government is investing an additional Sh1 billion to expand the project,” Kimosop said. More than 300 water pans have been built in parts of the region where residents face difficulties in finding water.