The Kenyan government has released US $6m to revive the construction of Thiba Dam which halted late last year due to lack of funds. According to the Strabag Company, all workers who were sent home after the mega project halted have been recalled.
“We have resumed construction work after the government availed some of the funds,” James Karanja, a Senior Company Manager. However, Mr Karanja also confirmed that the money was not enough and the company will be demanding some more from government. “We expected to receive US $20m but the government gave us only US $6m which is not enough to complete the project,” he said.
Thiba Dam is expected to boost rice production in the giant Mwea Irrigation Scheme in Kirinyaga County. Upon completion it is expected to provide irrigation water to the 7,952Ha Mwea Irrigation Settlement Scheme, which produces over 60% of rice grown in Kenya.
The dam will also allow production of other crops such as maize and vegetables. Money from annual sales attained from the completed dam is also expected to double up from the current US $28m to US $46m. The project was expected to be completed in 45 months. It is currently 30% complete.
The construction of the Thiba Dam is being financed in partnership with Japanese Government through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). When fully complete, the Dam will be 40m tall and 1km long and is expected to have a holding capacity of 15 million cubic meters.