Thwake Multipurpose Dam advances towards critical components as AfDB promises more support

Thwake Multipurpose Dam advances towards critical components as AfDB promises more support

By Godffrey Olali

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has lauded the State for significantly advancing the progress of design and development of other three critical components of the multi-billion Thwake Multipurpose Dam being constructed at the borders of Makueni and Kitui counties.

The Bank which is the leading contributor in financial capital for the program’s Phase I – estimated at Sh42 Billion – with three other phases remaining, has expressed its satisfaction with the advanced planning, design and development of three other remaining key components of water supply and sanitation development, hydropower and transmission and irrigation. The design of the three phases are at different stages.

“Bringing a dam of this size will significantly catapult the development of these semi-arid regions. There is significant progress registered in the concept development and design of three key components of hydropower development, water supply and sanitation to key towns and irrigation development downstream. We are studying them as a bank and committed to the full completion of this project so that people can feel and see its benefits,” said Mr Osward Chanda, the AfDB Acting Director for Water Development and Sanitation Department.

He spoke on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 during a tour of the site while accompanied by AfDB Task Manager in charge of Thwake Multipurpose Water Development Program Mr. Christopher Mutasa and Mr. Benson Bumbe, Principal Water and Sanitation Specialist at the AfDB.

The water supply component whose design is in progress, will provide treated water estimated at 150,000 m3/day to approximately 1.3 million people thus contributing to universal health care by reducing water borne diseases. Beneficiary centers will include Wote Town, Kitui rural up to Kwavonza sub-urban center, Makueni rural covering Mavindini and Kalawa sub-urban centers and Kathonzweni Town.

The Dam will also provide bulk water supply for Konza Techno City for domestic and industrial use while sewerage infrastructure will be developed in Wote and Kibwezi towns.

Another critical component of hydropower and transmission is expected to start being developed next year with an installed capacity of approximately 20 MW while development of Irrigation Scheme to ultimately irrigate 40,000 hectares (approx.

100,000 acres) of land is expected to be started in January 2023.

The Government through this Ministry is committed to completing phase 1 of the project on time in June 2022 to guarantee the implementation of the other 3 phases to ensure the project is actualized.

“The progress is very impressive at 62 per cent against 77 per cent elapsed time taking note that this comes at a time when Covid-19 ravaged implementation of many projects including Thwake Dam. We have so far disbursed Kshs22 Billion towards this project and we can already see the impact including massive socio-economic impact” added Mr. Chanda.

The total cost for phase 1 is Kshs 42.365 Billion which is fully funded by AfDB and Government of Kenya (GOK) at AfDB – Kshs32.510 Billion while GOK Kshs9.855 Billion.

The project which is currently employing close to 1,161 local people directly into the dam construction, is also supporting local industries through sourcing of construction materials such as cement, steel and fuel for the construction of the dam.

Others in attendance during the tour were the Project Implementation Team (PIT) Coordinator Eng. David Onyango, a section of PIT, Senior Resident Engineer Eng. Pius Musis, CGGC Thwake Project Manager Mr.  Xiong Wentao and a section of project staff.