The construction of the much-awaited sh. 20 billion Mwache multipurpose dam project in Kwale County has started in earnest.
Construction works of the high-quality mega water dam project that is aimed at providing water for human consumption and irrigation and is a flagship of vision 2030 is co-funded by the World Bank and the Government of Kenya.
The main objective of the Mwache Multipurpose Development Project is to provide a multi-purpose water reservoir catering for public/industrial water supply, irrigation, and power production in order to effectively contribute to regional and national social-economic development.
President William Ruto broke ground for the construction of the multi-billion shillings dam project and the contractor is Sino Hydro Corporation and Engineering of China who has the next 54 months to complete undertaking.
Mwache Dam site is located on the Mwache River at the Fulugani village in Kwale County in which the Coast Water Supply Master Plan has identified the dam as a preferential, viable, sustainable and essential long-term option for water supply to Mombasa and Kwale Counties.
Mwache Dam is an 87.5-meter-tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic meters of water for supply and irrigation and is expected to boost the water supply for Kwale, and Mombasa counties.
The Mwache Dam project is part of the second phase of the Water Security and Climate Resilience programme which focuses on the coastal counties of Mombasa and Kwale.
The construction of the Mwache Dam project is meant to harness the floodwaters from Mwache River basin in Kinango Sub County and help tackle persistent water shortages in the coastal region.
Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani says when complete the dam is expected to put 6,300 acres of land under irrigation in the county besides boosting the fortunes of Kwale and Mombasa by supplying 186,000 cubic meters of water to the two counties daily.
Achani says the mega water dam is a testament of the strides the national government is making in infrastructure development across the country aimed at fostering national development and cohesion.
She says that the project which was first mulled by Coast Development Authority (CDA) in 1995 has been inordinately delayed due to lack of funding and land compensation issues between landowners and the government.
Governor Achani described the project as laudable, noting that the dams’ construction was part of the national government’s efforts toward harnessing surface and ground water for drinking, irrigation.
“The dam project fits into our vision of becoming a water-secured county where every resident has easy access to clean, adequate, affordable water, sanitation and hygiene,” she said.
The county boss says to sustain the gains in water supply there is need for effective collaboration amongst public and private stakeholders in the sector.
She further said that the devolved unit also was undertaking projects and programmes to improve urban and rural water supply and irrigation infrastructure to meet the growing demand for water and food.