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Construction of 20B Kwale mega dam to commence before end of year

The construction works of the much awaited Sh20 billion Mwache Multipurpose Dam project in Kwale County is set to begin before the end of the year.

The Mwache Multipurpose Dam development project under the portfolio of the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation is a priority investment by the National Government as a flagship project under the Vision 2030.

Coast Development Authority (CDA), Managing Director (MD), Dr. Mohamed Keinan, said the Authority has finished rehabilitation works ahead of the project launch.

The Dam site is located across the Mwache River at the Fulugani village in Kinango Sub- County, Kwale.

Dr. Keinan said the construction works of the mega water project co-funded by the Kenya Government and the World Bank to the tune of Sh.20 billion is expected to begin before the end of the year.

He noted the dam project is a viable and necessary long term option for adequate water supply to Kwale and Mombasa counties.

Dr. Keinan said CDA has completed its activities around the project site such as tree planting, terracing, contour ploughing, rock terracing, gabion construction and riparian marking and pegging.

He said the massive dam, when complete, is also expected to put 2,600 hectares of land under irrigation in Kwale County.

“All the rehabilitation activities that we were involved in were meant to allow for the regeneration of natural vegetation,” he said during an interview.

He said the land conservation measures will go a long way in preserving the top-soil within the Mwache drainage system.

“We have placed 378 hectares of land under terraces while a further 367 hectares were under new cropping through community involvement,” he said, while on a tour of the project site.

He said the World Bank-funded project would be a game-changer in Mombasa and Kwale counties by ensuring adequate water supply.

The MD said CDA is the executing agency of rehabilitation works, while the Ministry of Water, through the Project Management Unit (PMU), is the overall implementing agency of the project that is expected to offer a lasting solution to the water shortages facing residents of Kwale and Mombasa counties.

Dr. Keinan said CDA has helped train smallholder farmers and water users associations around the project site with modern farming techniques and enhance food security.

“Long term strategic infrastructure investments are crucial to extend water and sanitation services to more people across the coastal counties” he said.

Dr. Keinan hailed the mega Mwache dam as one that will in the long run have additional benefits such as job creation and agricultural development through large-scale irrigation.

CDA Mwache Dam project site manager Dr. Mwanasiti Bendera said they are compensating affected communities around the project site in phases.

“We are almost done with compensating those who were removed from the project site and soon we are going to embark on phase two and three of the compensation process before actual construction works commences” she said.

Dr. Bendera assured that all those relocated to pave way for construction of the Mwache Dam would be fully compensated.

“Compensation and resettlement disputes surrounding affected communities which have been blocking the development of the mega dam project have been resolved through a multi-sectoral approach” she said, adding that this outcome will allow work to begin on the project site.

The Mwache Dam is an 87.5meter tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic meters for water supply and irrigation and is expected to boost the water supply for Kwale and Mombasa.

By Hussein Abdullahi

 

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