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.