Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya and the Water, Sanitation and Irrigation CS Sicily Kariuki have launched the first phase of Makamini Dam project in McKinnon Road Ward, Kinango sub county.
The Sh1.2 billion water project is expected to improve access to water, health and hygiene in arid and semi-arid parts of the vast county.
The project financed by the national government through the Coast Water Works Development Agency is aimed at providing potable water to over 40,000 residents from Makamini, Kinagoni, Matumbi, Mtaa, Mabesheni, Bofu, Kibandaongo, Mnyenzeni and Mwamdudu sub locations, upon completion.
The construction of the Makamini dam project becomes the second big project after the Mwache multipurpose dam project, which is meant to harness the flood flows from Mwache River basin for domestic water supply and irrigation in Kwale and Mombasa counties.
The Sh20 billion Mwache Dam is an 87.5-meter-tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic meters for water supply and irrigation and is expected to boost the water supply for the two coastal counties.
Addressing residents at the event, Mvurya said that through collaboration with the national government, Kwale county has achieved a lot in matters of development.
As a county we thank President Uhuru Kenyatta for his support especially in funding major infrastructure projects among them the Samburu-Kinango, Kanana-Shimoni and Lunga-Lunga-Vanga roads which have transformed our county economically,” he said.
The governor pledged government’s commitment and political will on behalf of the people in ensuring the success of the project.
He was also optimistic that the Makamini Dam project once complete, together with other dams funded by the devolved unit such as the Mwakalanga, Kizingo and Dziweni dams will solve the water scarcity problem facing the people living in the semi-arid areas of the county.
On her part, the CS assured Mvurya of continued support from the national government in matters of new infrastructure facilities.
“Infrastructure investments are crucial to extend water and sanitation services to more people across the country,” said Kariuki, while urging the contractor undertaking the dam construction works to work under the stipulated time frame.
“Once complete, the project will help local people, especially mothers who walk long distances in search of water. It will also reduce cases of sexual abuse among the girls and it will help them concentrate with their studies instead of searching for water,” said Kariuki.
The CS said the first phase of the project’s construction works is expected to be completed after a period of 18 months.
Earlier, Mvurya and Kariuki made a sight visit at the Pemba Dam project site where the duo inspected the progress of the ongoing water project.
They were accompanied by the county Senator Issa Boy and Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari among other local leaders.
By Hussein Abdullahi