African Development Bank mulls more funds for Thwake

Thursday, September 16th, 2021 01:04 |
East Africa Executive Director, Amos Cheptoo.

Over one million residents of Makueni, Kitui and parts of Machakos counties will benefit from the completion of the Sh42.4 billion Thwake Multipurpose Dam Project which is  60 per cent.

The African Development Bank (AfDB), a part funder with the government for the phased project described the progress as tremendous, and now wants the ongoing upstream clean-up of water sources to be fast-tracked.

East Africa Executive Director, Amos Cheptoo, said the institution is keen on seeing the ongoing clean up of the upstream water sources finished quickly on time to pave way for completion of the dam.

“As a bank we are impressed with the ongoing work at the dam. We have invested significant amount of resources to clean the Nairobi River,” he said.

The ongoing clean-up plan of Nairobi and Athi Rivers is funded by the AfDB and the French Development Agency (AFD) to a tune of Sh20 Billion.

“Once the dam project construction is completed in June 2022, the bank will work with the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation and the National Treasury to ensure faster acceleration of the three remaining phases,” he said.

Next phases

After completion, the next phases of the project are aimed at establishing a hydro power generation; water supply and irrigation programmes.

Cheptoo said that these components of the project are in design stages, and negotiations for funding are ongoing.

The bank also reiterated that it is fully supporting the government’s plans to ensure realisation of the project.

The government established a multi-sectoral committee comprising various players and institutions to spearhead the catchment protection and pollution control activities on Athi River.

“The Thwake Multipurpose Dam is a transformative project poised to tilt the development narrative of the adjacent areas, and the bank will support the government in ensuring that funding for subsequent phases of this project are secured,” Cheptoo said.

On Monday, Cheptoo toured the AfDB-GoK funded multi-billion shilling project in the company of members of the multi-sectoral Committee, mandated to come up with an implementation plan.

The team is drawn from the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation; National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Athi Water Works Development Agency, Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC), Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and Water Resources Authority (WRA).

Clean-up exercise

During a recent visit to the site by President Uhuru Kenyatta, he directed a clean-up exercise of upstream water sources which will feed the dam, be fast tracked.

An estimated Sh80 million is expected to assist in roll-out of social investment initiatives along the basin including rehabilitation and construction of new classrooms; sinking of community boreholes and rehabilitation of health centers.

Thwake Multipurpose Water Development Program is designated as a Vision 2030 project by the government and anchored on the Big4 agenda.

The programme is being implemented in four phases including construction of 80.5m high multi-purpose dam with storage of 688m m3 of water.

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