The construction of the much-awaited Mwache Multipurpose Dam which co-funded by the World Bank and the Government of Kenya to the tune of Kshs. 20 billion is expected to begin in March 2021.
According to the Coast Development Authority, the project will utilize water from Mwache River basin in Kinango Kinango sub-county to support agriculture and end perennial water shortage in Kwale County.
The project comprises 87.5 meter-tall concrete gravity dyke with the capacity to hold 118 million cubic meters of water critical in supporting agriculture and boosting water supply even to Mombasa County.
The massive dam when complete is expected to put 2,600 hectares of land under irrigation in Kwale County.
CDA Managing Director Dr. Mohamed Keinan says rehabilitation works on the dam site kicked off in 2017 under the aegis of the coast water security and climate change resilience project.
Dr. Keinan said the project which was first mulled by CDA in 1995 has been delayed due to lack of funding.
“We are currently increasing the forest cover for the entire Mwache catchment area that stretches from Taita Taveta County to Kwale,” said Dr. Keinan while on a monitoring and evaluation visit to the project site.
Dr. Keinan said 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.
He said population growth and growing demand for precious water resources has accelerated the construction of the mega-dam.
“But now plans to begin construction were given fresh impetus when the government secured the required funding,” said Dr. Keinan.
The government is banking on the Mwache dam reservoir as one that will offer a lasting solution to the water shortfall facing residents of Kwale and Mombasa.
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.