Availability of clean, and reliable water from the Thwake Multi-Purpose Water Development Program will be a big boost to the Konza Technopolis city, which is currently under construction.
ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs PS Jerome Ochieng said that water from the multi-billion dam will be a critical element and a big game changer to the development of the ongoing technopolis.
Speaking in Makueni Friday during a tour of the project which is jointly funded by the Government of Kenya and the African Development Bank (AfDB), Ochieng said the completion of the dam will ensure Konza dream is realized.
“Reliable water from the dam will be a key element. As part of a multi-agency approach within the national government, we as Konza City team, came to agree with the technical team over here on logistics and we are looking forward to get the much-needed water from the dam. We are also putting our request to the Makueni County Government on the need for collaboration and prudent supply of sufficient and clean water for Konza,” he said.
The PS was accompanied by Makueni governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, Chairman Konza Technopolis Board of Directors Dr. Reuben Mutiso, Managing Director Eng. John Tanui and other board members.
Ochieng lauded the progress of the project, whose completion current stands at 43.4 percent against a time lapse of 54 percent. “The progress means there is synergy and collaboration from all stakeholders to ensure the project is completed within given timelines despite challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.
The PS also disclosed that plans were underway to have internship programs in the project for students in order to build local capacities and transfer of knowledge and technical exchange in the spirit of “Buy-Kenya-Build Kenya.”
This is a key project because it will answer the critical water question both to the local communities and beyond Makueni. We are an interested party because of the concern and interest we have in this project. Furthermore, provision of power and irrigation components are other elements which will change lives of over 1.3 million residents of this area and even beyond, these are important to us as a country,” he said.
Prof. Kibwana echoed the same sentiments promising to facilitate smooth implementation of the dam being constructed at the confluence of rivers Thwake and Athi in Makueni and Kitui counties.
“Thwake is one of the standing projects in this country, and as the county government, we are pleased with the work done and I am satisfied that it is getting almost at the half point. A big project like this is poised to change cultural orientation of the people. I applaud the progress made so far,” he said.
“The governor noted that the dam, besides providing clean and sufficient water to the residents and the Konza Technopolis City, will also ensure investors open businesses, thus creating jobs to thousands of youth in the county and beyond.
“We promise to share this water with Konza. I am equally impressed that the government has also set aside Sh24 billion for irrigation component. We hope to see its actualization and concurrent implementation,” said Prof. Kivutha.
“The dam is in the first phase, comprised of construction of an 80.5m high multi-purpose dam (688 million cubic meter storage capacity) and associated preliminary works needed to enable implementation of other three phases.
Phase two of the works will involve construction of hydropower and substation development expected to generate at least 20MW of installed capacity, while the third phase will involve development of water supply system to treat and distribute up to 150,000 cubic metres of treated water per day to the Konza city and to majority of residents in Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties.
The last stage of the project, will see development of irrigation works for up to 40,075 hectares of land in Kitui and Makueni counties.
By Roselyne Kavoo