In Kenya, the construction of the $183 million Mwache Dam project is set to begin before the end of this year.
Managing Director of Coast Development Authority (CDA), Dr. Mohamed Keinan, says the Authority has finished rehabilitation works ahead of the project launch.
CDA is however a state corporation established by an Act of Parliament No. 20 of 1990 (Cap 449), revised in 1992 with the mandate to provide integrated development planning, coordination and implementation of projects and programmes within the whole of Coast Region, including the southern part of Garissa County (Ijara and Fafi) and the Kenya’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and for connected purposes.
Its area of jurisdiction covers 103,326 km2 and the EEZ (200 Nautical Miles of the Indian Ocean). The population in the region has grown from 2.7 million (1999 census) to 3.4 million (2009 census) and is estimated to be 3.5 in 2019 (using the inter-censal growth of 3.8 %).
Majority of the population (70.8%) live in the rural areas and engage in subsistence farming in high and medium agricultural potential areas. Of the total land area, only 34,314 km2 (31%) is suitable for crop production and the remaining 69% is Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) supporting mainly livestock production and wildlife.
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.
“We have completed activities around the project site such as tree planting, terracing, contour ploughing, rock terracing, gabion construction and riparian marking and pegging.
”The land conservation measures made will go a long way in preserving the top-soil within the Mwache drainage system.
”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”, Keinan said.
Plans to begin the construction of the dam were given fresh impetus when the government secured the required funding partly from its revenue and from the World Bank.
The Dam site is located across the Mwache River at the Fulugani village in Kinango Sub- County, Kwale.
The million dollar project entails the construction of an 87.5 meter-tall concrete gravity dyke with the capacity to hold up to 118 million cubic meters of water.
The dam will harness the floodwaters from the Mwache River basin in Kinango Sub County and help tackle persistent water shortages in the coastal region.