Kenya has started construction of what would be, upon completion, the largest dam in East Africa. Thwake dam will be constructed in the Eastern part of the country.
On Wednesday, the government signed Ksh.36.9 billion contract with Chinese contractor China Gezhouba Construction Group Corporation, paving way for work to start.
Thwake Multipurpose dam in Kitui and Makueni area will provide134 million litres of water daily, the country’s water and Irrigation minister Eugine Wamalwa said.
The minister explained that the project will cost about Sh36.9 billion and another Sh5 billion for compensation.Thwake dam will be 10 times larger than Ndakaini dam in Central Kenya.
The dam part of the Vision 2030 initiative will be financed jointly by the government and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Already, 90 per cent of compensation for land has been done and the rest are set to be compensated before the project officially commences.
“This is one of the mega dams we are doing around the country.Over 60 dams are under construction across the counties which are aimed at improving water services in the country to 80 per cent by the year 2020,” said Mr Wamalwa.
Apart from providing water for domestic use, the largest dam in East Africa will also provide electricity and water for irrigation purposes.
This is the second time that a contract for the construction of the dam is being signed. The dam has been hit by delays due to legal tussles.
The need for dams in Kenya emerged early this year when the country was subjected to water rationing due to prolonged drought. Kitui and Makueni area, where the dam will be located, has had perennial droughts.