, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – Some 1.3 million people from the Lower Eastern Region are set to benefit from the Thwake Dam project whose contract was officially signed Wednesday by Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.
According to Wamalwa, Thwake will be the largest single project in the country and the region, which will be providing 134 million litres of water daily.
“Thwake dam will be 10 times larger than Ndakaini dam and also the largest in East Africa. I want to assure that all the necessary funding of this project is in place to ensure that it goes on as planned,” said Wamalwa.
He was joined by leaders from Kitui, Makueni and Machakos who witnessed the signing of the contract which they said will eliminate hunger in the Ukambani region.
He said that the project will cost about Sh36.9 billion and another Sh5 billion for compensation.
The water project, to be located on the border of Kitui and Makueni counties, is being financed jointly by the government and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Already, 90 per cent of compensation for land has been done and the rest are set to be compensated before the project officially commences.
Thwake Dam will be 77 M high and 22 Km long, which makes it appear like a lake.
According to Wamalwa, over 60 dams are under construction across the counties which are aimed at improving water services in the country to 80 per cent by the year 2020.
Kitui County Governor Charity Ngilu who led the Ukambani leaders said that the dam will be a game changer in the region and pledged to fully support the project to ensure there are no hitches that derail the project.
“As Ukambani leaders we will provide all the necessary support required to ensure that this project comes to a completion without any problem,” said Ngilu.
Ngilu also assured Kitui County residents of the completion of Umaa Dam which had been marred by challenges.
She also asked the contractor to use local materials in the counties as well as employ the people in those counties where the construction is taking place.
The Contract was awarded to China Gezhouba Construction Group Corporation.
According to the China-based contractor, the project will take a period of 56 months to be fully completed.