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Mwache multipurpose dam project to commence in February

The construction of the Sh20 billion Mwache Multipurpose Dam project in Kwale County is set to begin in February this year.

The project whose contract was signed in August 2018 was delayed for several years as the constructor awaited the government to finalize the land compensation exercise.

Addressing the media in Kwale during a tour by eleven Principal Secretaries to inspect government projects, Water, Sanitation and Irrigation PS Joseph Irungu said on February 15th this year, the government will start the construction of the Mwache dam project.

Principal Secretary for Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation, Joseph Irungu inspecting the Mwache dam project in Kwale County during a visit by the National Development Implementation and Technical committee. Photo by Raymond Zaka

Irungu said that only eight shrines and graves are to be moved from the site adding that funds have already been allocated for the compensation of all the affected households.

“The project is on course; at least 75 per cent of the residents have been compensated. The government is moving with speed to finalize the compensation process,” said Irungu.

The PS added that his office will consult with the National Land Commission (NLC) to ensure they finalize the compensation exercise to pave the way for the construction work.

“This project has been delayed for many years and the ministry will engage with the land commission to ensure the exercise is completed in due time,” he added. The dam project is in three phases and phase 1 is the critical area where the main dam shall be constructed.

The project will require 250,000 hectares of land and will involve displacement of approximately 12,000 persons whose assets and livelihoods may be affected, as well as access to natural or economic resources as a result of activities under the Mwache Dam Project.

The seven-year project funded by the World Bank through Kenya Water Security Programme is expected to eradicate the problem of water shortage in the counties of Kwale, Mombasa, and Kilifi.

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

The Mwache Dam is an 87.5-meter-tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic meters of water with a daily supply of 186,000 cubic meters of water. The massive dam once complete is also expected to put 2,600 hectares of land under irrigation in Kwale County and address the food shortage experienced in the county.

At the same time, the Permanent Secretary for the State Department of Industrialization Kirimi Kaberia said that the Dongo Kundu special economic zone will be completed on time.

Kaberia added that the government has started compensating residents for their houses that shall be demolished and not land since the land is public property.

The Dongo Kundu special economic zone will cost Sh 900 million and over 3,000 hectares of land shall be used.

By Chari Suche and Raymond Zaka

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