Mwache Multipurpose Dam in Kenya: Issues That Held Back the Project Resolved
Sicily Kariuki, the Cabinet Secretary for Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation in Kenya has announced that the issues that held back the start of construction of Mwache Dam, across the Mwache River at the Fulugani village in Kinango Sub-County, Kwale, have been resolved.
These issues include compensation issues between landowners and the government, the relocation of pipelines, Mwache Bridge, Nunguni ECDE Centers, Fulugani Primary School, and the re-routing of roads from the project site.
“I am happy to announce that we have fully resolved the issues that held back the implementation of the Mwache Dam project, and we expect the construction works to commence in February, starting with a groundbreaking ceremony on the 15th day of that month,” said Ms. Kariuki.
The main issue that held back the project
The land compensation issue has been the main problem that has hindered the start of the Mwache Dam project. Kenya received a total of Ksh 15 million, a tranche of an Sh20 billion deal signed with the World Bank Group in 2015, as part of the Paris Pact Flagship Project that seeks to build resilient water systems in global cities, for the start of the implementation of the project.
The project failed to take off however due to disagreements between local leaders and national government officials over the compensation terms for landowners. A section of leaders complained about low compensation rates and vowed to stop the project until each landowner is paid a minimum of Sh1 million for an acre.
The project took an entirely new turn last year when the government, according to Joseph Irungu, the Permanent Secretary (PS) for Water in the Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation, sent money to the National Land Commission to finalize the compensation exercise.
The Mwache Multipurpose Dam will be situated on 1,600 acres of land across the Mwache River at the Fulugani village in Kinango Sub-County in Kwale County. It will be an 87.5-meter-tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic meters of water with a daily supply of 186,000 cubic meters of water.
Designed by the Association of Nippon Koei Consulting Engineers Ltd of Japan, Mangat I.B. Patel (MIBP) Ltd and AF Consult of Switzerland, with Dr. M.R.H. Dunstan of MD&A of the UK, the Mwache Multipurpose Dam will be a Roller-Compacted Concrete (RCC) gravity dam, the first of its kind in East Africa.
It is also expected to put 2,600 hectares of land into irrigation to address the food shortage experienced in Kwale County.
June 2018: US $150m Mwache Dam project to be developed in Mombasa County
A US $150m dam is set for construction in Mombasa, Kenya.This is after the government signed a credit facility agreement with France for its commencement, having an objective of providing 138,000,000 M3 of water for Kwale & Mombasa Counties and rehabilitating the degraded Mwache Catchment.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich says the facility, extended by Agence Francaise De Development, comes with a 1.46% interest rate per annum, and has 20 years repayment period including an 8 year grace period.
“We expect the dam to serve the entire Mombasa County and to be completed in three years,” Rotich said.
The Mwache Multi-purpose Dam Development Project is a priority investment by the Government as a flagship project of Vision 2030. The project was under the portfolio of the former Ministry of Regional Development Authorities (MoRDA) through the Coast Development Authority (CDA) working in partnership with Coast Water Services Board (CWSB).
Credit facility agreement
The main user of the water, Mombasa County, through the Mombasa Water and Sewerage Company (MOWASCO), is now part of the partnership and is working jointly with CWSB and CDA.
The dam site is located across the Mwache River at the Fulugani village, Kwale County, about 22 km west of the city of Mombasa. The Coast Water Supply Master Plan has identified the dam as the preferential, viable, and necessary long-term option for water supply to Mombasa and Kwale counties.
Treasury has also signed a credit facility agreement for a non-sovereign loan of US $72m for Meru Wind project between Kenya Electricity Generation Company and AFD. Further to the two statement letters were signed which include one in support of the implementation of public finance management reforms at a cost of US $40m and another in support of the electricity transmission network at a cost of approximately US $110m.
July 2021: US $183M Mwache Dam project in Kenya to begin before end of year
Construction of the Mwache Dam project in Kenya is set to begin before the end of the year. Coast Development Authority (CDA), Managing Director (MD), Dr. Mohamed Keinan announced the Authority has finished rehabilitation works ahead of the project launch.
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,” said Dr. Keinan.
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.
October 2021: Mwache Multipurpose Dam construction to begin in November
The construction of the Mwache Multipurpose Dam, whose contract was signed in August 2018 and delayed for several years as the constructor awaited the government to finalize the land compensation exercise is set to begin next month (November 2021).
This was announced by Joseph Irungu, the Permanent Secretary (PS) for Water in the Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation adding that the national government is working relentlessly to see into it that all issues that have stalled the project including land compensation are finalized before the 1st of November 2021.
“The national government has sent money to the National Land Commission to finalize the compensation exercise that we expect to be finalized soon so that we can hand over the site to the contractor to commence the construction works,” explained PS Irungu.
Reportedly, Coast Development Authority (CDA) has completed activities around the project site such as tree planting, terracing, contour ploughing, rock terracing, gabion construction, and marking and pegging.
November 2020: Rehabilitation of Mwache Multipurpose Dam in Kwale, Kenya gathers pace
The rehabilitation works on the Mwache Multipurpose Dam project in Kwale County, Kenya, is gathering pace with the much-awaited construction works expected to begin in March next year.
According to Dr. Mohamed Keinan, the Managing Director (MD) of Coast Development Authority (CDA), which is spearheading the rehabilitation exercise, they are currently increasing the forest cover for the entire Mwache catchment area that stretches from Taita Taveta County to Kwale County. The Mwache catchment management is being implemented by the CDA Project Implementation Unit (CDA PIU) in partnership with the Water Resources Authority (WRA), Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs), Kwale County Government, the Kenya Forestry Service (KFS), the Kenya Forest Research Institute (KeFRI) and the local community.
Other ongoing activities include tree planting, terracing, contour ploughing, rock terracing, gabion construction, and riparian marking and pegging to allow for the regeneration of natural vegetation.
The rehabilitation works on the dam site began in earnest in 2017 under the aegis of the Coast Water Security and climate change resilience project while the mega-dam project was first conceptualized by CDA in 1995 but plans to begin construction were hampered due to lack of funding.
The rebirth of the construction plans of the Mwache Multipurpose Dam
Dr. Keinan said that the 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 over US$ 183M 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.
When complete the Mwache Multipurpose Dam is expected to put 2,600 hectares of land under irrigation in Kwale County, contributing to food security and economic growth, prosperity, and poverty alleviation in the region.
CDA is the executing agency of rehabilitation works while the Ministry of Water, through the Project Management Unit (PMU), is the overall implementing agency.