Land incentives provided to unlock financing of proposed 100 mega-dam projects in Kenya

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Kenya’s government provides land incentives intended to unlock financing of proposed 100 mega-dam projects estimated to cost Sh1.7 trillion. The government is offering public land to investors to facilitate the implementation of the project under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Additionally, the deals with private investors will enable the government to pursue capital-intensive water projects across the country without taking loans. Once completed, it will be taken over by the national government. The government will implement this project through Water Works Development Agencies and will cover all nine regions of the country.

The government believes the PPPs will promote the adoption of innovative technologies and sustainable water management practices. These practices include the application of efficient irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting and conservation. By adopting innovative financing models the Ministry aims to ensure that water services are accessible and affordable to all citizens.

Significance of the mega-dam Project in Kenya

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The project aims to provide water to six million homes. Additionally, the dams will raise the acreage under irrigation to one million acres, while generating 554MW of hydropower. Eventually, the State hopes to expedite the construction of 100 large and 1,000 small dams countrywide. Moreover, this will bring three million acres under irrigation.

Importantly, the project seeks to address the country’s dire water scarcity challenges. Water Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome explained prospective investors would be required to build dams with their own funds. Afterwards, sell water to State-owned water agencies to recoup their investments. Ms Wahome disclosed that the land will not be sold to private investors. Therefore, the project will retain its status as a national scheme.

Previously, the government has signed deals valued at more than Sh700 billion for the construction of mega dams in the country.