Construction works on US $2bn High Grand Falls Dam in Kenya, Africa’s second largest dam is set to commence following a resolved procurement dispute which threatened to delay the project.
According to Irrigation Principal Secretary Fred Segor, Public Procurement Review Board (PPRB) — the state agency that handles disputes arising from government tendering — upheld an earlier ruling that the British firm that won the multi billion contract be allowed to undertake the project.
The dispute over tender number NIB/T/018/2016-2017 arose on May 29 when NIB cancelled the tender after it emerged that only GBM Consortium had met the preliminary conditions set out in the request for proposals, including a mandatory site visit.
High Grand Falls Dam
Construction of the High Grand Falls Dam, which is also one of the largest undertaking by the government after the Standard Gauge Railway project, and is among President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy projects, conceived in 2009 during former President Mwai Kibaki’s regime as part of an ambitious effort to build 1,000 water reservoirs across the country in an attempt to revolutionize irrigation-based farming.
The dam is set to produce 700MW of hydropower and facilitate irrigation in more than 250,000ha of land Kitui, Garissa and Tana River counties. It is also part of the Sh1.5 trillion Lamu Port and Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset) projects and will be built downstream the Seven Folks dams along River Tana.
“The benefit to the region is enormous. Because first, it is going to form a large man made lake, where it will be easy introducing fishing and tourism activities to the communities around it,” said Prof Fred Segor.
Mr Fred further added that the dam will also address the perennial flooding at the Kenya’s Coast region while also serving 1.5 million people living downstream. The dam will hold more than 5.6 billion cubic metres of water with construction expected to take six years.
Plans to roll out the project will begin in earnest after the Treasury agrees with the contractor on the timelines in implementing the project.The ruling also paves the way for the next phase of land acquisition where affected persons will be relocated.