MV Songa Cougar sails into the Port of Lamu on a maiden call. The vessel with a length overall of 147.8 meters loaded 65 TEUs of full containers carrying assorted goods destined for the Port of Jeddah. The Port of Lamu is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project which is a transport and infrastructure project in Kenya. At completion of the three phases, the Shs 310 billion port will have 32 berths, 29 of which will be financed by the private sector, making it the largest deep-water port in Sub-Saharan Africa./KPA

Good infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity projects will help spur Kenya’s economic growth, enabling Kenyans to run their businesses, generate wealth and create employment. Infrastructure development boosts the economy through linkages with other sectors. Among the key investments is the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and rehabilitation of the old Metre Gauge Railway, roads and ports and enhancing electricity generation. Better transport, and ICT infrastructure stimulates exports and local distribution of goods.

Lamu Port

Recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the first berth of the Port of Lamu, which is set to transform the town and archipelago into a major trade and logistics hub, accelerating economic transformation.

The Port of Lamu is a flagship project of the LAPSSET (Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport) Corridor. The launch of Lamu Port on 20th May 2021 has set the LAPSSET ship off, and confirmed that the transport vision has started turning into reality. Witnessing the berthing of Lamu Port’s maiden ship, MV CAP Carmel, and offloading of its cargo to trucks, was a remarkable sight of a dream come true for Kenya, at a place that was once a vast sea and an adjacent hinterland characterised by bushes.

The President also commissioned the Garsen-Witu-Lamu (110km) road, part of the LAPSSET Corridor alternative routes that connect the 10km Lamu Port Access Road to Garissa County. In addition, construction of the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo (Phase 1) road, a major LAPSSET Corridor Highway, is underway. With the construction of roads, travel time has reduced, security enhanced and various investments are being witnessed. The port will stimulate more business sectors, including real estate, hospitality, livestock, manufacturing and the service industry.

The LAPSSET Corridor Project is the largest game changer infrastructure project the government has initiated under the Vision 2030 Strategy Framework. It seeks to foster transport linkage between Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia and promote regional socio-economic development along the transport corridor, especially in the Northern, Eastern, North-Eastern and Coastal parts of Kenya. The LAPSSET Corridor Project covers over half of the country with a planned investment resource equivalent to 50 per cent of Kenya’s GDP for the core investment alone.

Launch of the first berth will transform the town and archipelago into a major trade and logistics centre in the region. The Port of Lamu successfully recorded its maiden trans-shipment cycle, raising its profile on the global map, following the loading of 62 trans-shipment full containers on MV Spirit of Dubai. The smooth cargo handling was enabled by use of integrated customs management systems.

A key component of Kenya’s Vision 2030 strategy, LAPSSET echoes the modern developmental approach most African governments are taking, but differs in both its magnitude and rationale.

The plan involves an ambitious array ofcomponents across a vast tract of the Hornof Africa.LAPSSET has been marketed as the firstsection of a colossal, continent-wide GreatEquatorial Land Bridge via Juba and Banguito Douala on Cameroon’s Atlantic coast. Conservative feasibility studies show that the project will inject between 2 -to-3 per cent of GDP into the economy. Statistics estimate that the contribution of the LAPSSET Corridor Project to the country’s economic growth might even range between 8 percent to 10 per cent of GDP when the generated, and attracted investments, finally come onboard.

Regional infrastructure projects such as this are strong enablers of Africa’s continental integration. Coupled with the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, harmonisation of monetary policies and other standards such as customs, stabilisation of tariff and non-tariff barriers, statistics and labour market information and improved business climate, the LAPSSET project will attract global trade and investments in Africa.

Nairobi-Kisumu Metre Gauge Railway Reopens

Following the refurbishment of the dilapidated railway line from Nairobi to Kisumu, the Kisumu commuter train is back after more than 10 years after services were suspended. The train received overwhelming reception being fully booked for the 2021 December holiday season. The journey by train takes an approximate of 12hrs between Nairobi and Kisumu. In addition to the passenger coaches, the train has an additional coach that serves as a restaurant for the travelers. /Kenya Railways

The reopened Nairobi-Kisumu passenger railway has not only eased movement of people, but also opened the economies in western Kenya, with the planned connections to Uganda and Tanzania well on course.

The revived 266-kilometre line, which collapsed about 15 years ago, will also boost economic activities at the rehabilitated Kisumu port, besides revamping the trade within the East Africa Community, especially with the inclusion of the DR Congo as a member state. Mr Raila Odinga, the Africa Union Envoy for Infrastructure Development, opened the railway at Fort Ternan, near Kisumu. The revamped railway rekindled nostalgic memories of leisurely travel that provided one with breathtaking views of Kenya. The former Prime Minister posted on his Facebook page: “Nothing beats a nostalgic train ride than sharing it with one of my grandkids.”

The eagerly awaited service saw both Christmas Eve and December 26 return trips sold out, forcing the Kenya Railways to introduce an extra trip to meet the demand. The trips to Nairobi after December 31 were also fully booked. Since the bulk Kenya’s exports to Uganda and beyond pass through Port Bell and Jinja via the Kisumu, the former PM said: “We want the rail network to connect even with Musoma and Mwanza in Tanzania as well as Port Bell, Jinja and Kampala in Uganda.”

Some of the goods that Kenya will be exporting via the Kisumu port are food crops, spare parts, edible oils and fertiliser. Kenya Railways sees a huge potential for agricultural products using the meter gauge line with Naivasha as a transhipment centre of goods ferried by the SGR to be transferred to locomotives on the old line.

Nairobi Expressway

Aerial shot of part of the 27.1km elevated dual carriageway, Nairobi Expressway. The expressway is not only going to ease the traffic jam experienced along the busy highway but as well save man hours wasted in the congestion.

Nairobi’s perennial traffic jams will soon be alleviated, thanks to the partially elevated new 27-kilometre Expressway. Road snarl-ups in the metropolis are estimated to cost the country Ksh2 billion annually, or KShs50 million daily, in lost man hours. That high cost will significantly come down. The Expressway, as it is popularly known, will enhance Nairobi’s competitiveness as a regional hub for business and transport by decongesting the city and the Northern Transport Corridor.

For Ksh65 billion, Kenya is expecting to have a highway that will dramatically change the city’s skyline and ease traffic flow in and out of Nairobi, which will be a major milestone. While not part of the Big Four Agenda, it is a significant enabler of economic development in the capital, Nairobi. The four-lane dual carriageway runs along the median strips of Mombasa Road (starting at Mlolongo), Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way, terminating at James Gichuru Road. It is to be tolled and will have 10 interchanges at Mlolongo, SGR, JKIA, Eastern and Western bypasses, Haile-Selassie, Museum Hill in Westlands and James Gichuru Road.

It is part of the Government’s plan to ease traffic from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport that accesses Nairobi city centre. Also, traffic from central Nairobi is expected to be facilitated to reduce the number of departing passengers who miss their fights while stuck in road traffic on city streets.

The work involves expansion of the existing road to four lanes one-way, (eight lanes total), with footpaths, drainage channels, overpass bridges and street lighting. Ongoing construction work has worsened the traffic situation on Mombasa Road and adjoining roads, but this is a temporary setback that will eventually be replaced by enjoyable motoring. The project is being undertaken as a Public Private Partnership with the China Road and Bridge Construction Corporation (Kenya) (CRBC) on a build-operate-transfer model. The concessionaire, CRBC, will finance, build and operate the tolled road for 30 years during which it will recover its costs before transferring the operations to KeNHA.

When completed, the Expressway will slash commuting time between Westlands and JKIA from about two hours at peak time to just 15 minutes, a major saving not just for motorists but the economy as well. Meanwhile, the Expressway has created over 2,000 jobs for Kenyans, provided markets for locally manufactured goods and services and encouraged transfer of valuable technical skills.

A section of the road from Mlolongo to NextGen Mall, a distance of 18.2km, will be a flatbed model, while the section from Nextgen Mall through the city centre to St Mark’s Church, covering 8.2km, will be elevated.

The bigger plan is to connect Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the neighbourhood of Rironi, in Kiambu County, along the Nairobi-Limuru Road.

Sections of the Expressway will have eight, six, and four lanes, respectively, based on traffic projections. There will be a two-month test period before it is opened for public use. The construction has been fast-tracked from the initial three years and the Expressway is seen as a solution to the perennial traffic jams in the Nairobi Metropolis, which cost the country KShs 2 billion annually, or KSh50 million daily, in lost man hours, according to World Bank figures.

Spearheaded by the Kenya Highways Authority (KeNHA), it will especially ease traffic congestion on Mombasa Road and enhance mobility in the city. It is estimated that up to 60,000 vehicles ply the JKIA-Westlands route daily. About 25,000 motorists are expected to use the tolled Expressway when completed.

Thiba Dam

A section of Thiba Dam that is expected to secure a year-round water supply for the regions around the Mwea Irrigation scheme. The 40-meter tall and 1 km long dam creates a reservoir that will allow a twice per year every year Mwea rice irrigation scheme and the surrounding cultivable area. The dam will hold 15 million cubic meters of water, which will be supplied to the farmers within the Mutithi section where the existing scheme is being expanded by 10,000 acres. Currently, the Mwea Irrigation scheme has 25,000 acres under rice cultivation but upon expansion will add up to 35,000 acres, which will translate to double production of paddy rice. The National Irrigation Authority is overseeing the construction of the Dam with the Consultants./KNA

Construction of Thiba Dam, which will secure a year-round water supply for agriculture is nearing completion. The 40-meter tall and 1km long dam is creating a reservoir that will allow farmers in the Mwea rice irrigation scheme to cultivate all year long. The remaining nine per cent of work includes connections to the existing road network as well as facilities for water draw-off and safe floodwater drainage. However, the dam is now ready for flooding come the rainy season beginning March 2022 when the water volume will be high enough to secure water flow to other areas, including the Mwea irrigation scheme, Kenya’s rice basket.

The dam will free the farmers from their dependance on rain-fed agriculture.

At completion Thiba Dam will hold 15 million cubic meters of water to be supplied to the farmers within the Mutithi section where the existing scheme is being expanded by 10,000 acres. Currently, the Mwea Irrigation Scheme has 25,000 acres under rice cultivation, but upon expansion, will add up to 35,000 acres.

Income from the crop, which stands at Sh9 billion currently, will also increase to about KShs 20 billion per year. The National Irrigation Authority is overseeing the construction of the Dam with the Consultant being a joint venture of Nippon Koei and Gibb Africa and contractor Straback International GmbH (Germany). Once complete, an additional 10,000 acres will be put under irrigation in Mwea.

Regeneration of Kisumu Port

Ongoing construction of MV Uhuru II wagon ferry, dry dock and slipway at the Kisumu Shipyard. The construction of the wagon ferry was commissioned by President Kenyatta in May last 2021. The construction and local assembly in the country has earned respect amongst its neghbours and the East African region in the marine industry.

The 120-year-old Kisumu Port is poised to strengthen Kenya’s status as the leading business hub for the East African Community.

By completing the Phase One revamping of the port and repairing the equally old Nairobi-Nanyuki and Nakuru-Kisumu metre-gauge railway lines, the Government has positioned Kisumu to regain its tag as the gateway to East and Central Africa. Kisumu’s location on the shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world, makes it an entry point to vast parts of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi — with a combined population of around 35 million people and a GDP of some US$30 billion, which is, on average, about 40 percent of the total EAC economy.

Economic activities standing to benefit from the investments include fisheries and transport of bulk products like oil and grains.

The Government is in the process of tendering for Phase Two of the Kisumu Port rehabilitation project, but the city is already benefiting from its status as a revitalized EAC trading hub on the shores of Lake Victoria. Key Government institutions, including the Kenya Railways, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and the County Government of Kisumu are working together to ensure the success of the projects. The rehabilitation of MV Uhuru and the commissioning of the revamped Naivasha-Kisumu railway line, is already feeding more cargo to Kisumu Port.

The Government has been encouraged by data showing that improvement in governance and efficiency saw the port handle 62 percent more cargo (to 17,735 tonnes) in 2019 and expects this to continue following the completion of the Phase.

Cargo output is project to increase to 130,000 tonnes by 2025, and further to 180,000 tonnes by 2035. By improving the reliability of the medium gauge railway (MGR) between Naivasha and Kisumu, maritime vessels like MV Uhuru will be able to ferry cargo from Kisumu to ports such as Mwanza and Bukoba in Tanzania as well as Jinja and Port Bell in Uganda as more local firms exploit the lower transport costs on Lake Victoria.

Data from the National Economic 2021 released in September shows that exports from Kenya to the East Africa region grew from KSh140.4 billion in 2019 to KSh158.3 billion in 2020, accounting for 64.3 per cent of the total exports to Africa. Exports to Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan alone jointly amounted to KShs 120.6 billion, compared with KShs 99.9 billion in 2019, reflecting a growth of 20.8 per cent. Uganda remained the largest export destination, accounting for 29.3 per cent of the total exports to Africa.

Export earnings from South Sudan almost doubled from KShs 12.6 billion in 2019 to KShs 23.2 billion 2020, while the value of exports to Rwanda went up by 8.8 per cent over the same period. In addition, the value of exports to Ethiopia and Sudan rose by 32.4 and 42.0 per cent, respectively, in 2020. According to the Kenya Ports Authority, Kisumu Port will accommodate larger vessels and handle higher cargo volumes once the ongoing renovations and dredging works are complete.

The project scope that extends to the Kisumu Port basin, Kenya Pipeline Company turning basin, Deep Sea approach channel and the Mbita causeway is already complete, with the dredging hitting a depth of minus 7 metres from the current minus 4.5 and minus 2.5m for the causeway. It has seen the construction of an 80 metre-wide canal seven metres deep and 63 kilometres long stretching to Mbita town.

Mombasa Port Expansion Project Phase II

Three Ship to Shore gantry cranes being delivered at the Mombasa Port expected to operate at the newly constructed berth 22. The cranes utilized for offloading and loading cargo from a ship to the quayside work at a speed of 40 moves per hour The modern Ship to Shore gantry cranes will improve efficiency and boost productivity of the port whose capacity has been increased by a further 550,000 TEUs annually following the completion of the new berth 22./KPA

The Mombasa Port expansion project is nearing completion, with Phase II construction of a second container terminal in the final stages. The port expansion will help Mombasa remain competitive even as the development of a second, deep port in Lamu gathers pace. It is financed by Japan at a cost of KShs 32 billion. Before Lamu, Mombasa Port was the only international commercial port in Kenya and remains the busiest in the East African Community. As the gateway port of Kenya and the hub port of the East African region, Mombasa handles transit cargo to landlocked countries in central Africa such as Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.

The story of the project goes back to 2000 when the Government of Kenya asked the Government of Japan to extend an ODA loan for the “Mombasa Port Container Terminal Expansion (Project)” following recommendations by the Japan External Trade Organisation ( JETRO).

Major port facilities and equipment provided under Phase I of the project include:

  • Access channel and turning basins with marker buoys.
  • Revetment 1 (881m long).
  • Revetment 2 (140m long).
  • Berth No. 20 (11m deep, 201m long, 21m wide).
  • Berth No. 21 (15m deep, 350m long, 30m wide).
  • Small boat berth (4.5m deep, 283m long, 15m wide).
  • Light beacon for berth Nos. 20 and 21.
  • Container yard.
  • Trunk road (8 lanes, 14,000m long, 37.5m wide).
  • Port access road (6 lanes, 2,242m long, 33m wide).
  • Connection road (5 lanes, 940m long, 23.5m wide).
  • Railway terminals and connections.
  • Port security system.
  • Port administration office and other port buildings.
  • 50-tonne quayside container cranes (2 units).
  • 40.6-tonne transfer cranes (4 units).

Phase I saw 20.23 hectares (50 acres) of land reclaimed from the sea, creating 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) capacity with two new berths. Phase II has also seen the reclamation of another 20.23 hectares from the sea and will add 450,000 TEUs capacity to the port, bringing the total capacity of the new terminal to one million TEUs. As demand for containerised cargo grows, the port is expected to handle up to 1.732 million TEUs by 2023, up from the current 1.42 million TEUs. This is an average of 47 million tonnes by 2030, compared with the current 30 million tonnes. This will rise to 111 million tonnes by 2047.

The port can now accommodate larger vessels, which gives it a competitive edge over the neighbouring ports, mainly in Dar-es-Salaam and Djibouti. The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the construction of the Inland Container Deport in Nairobi and the Naivasha dry port have positioned Mombasa Port to handle increased demand for containerised cargo to neighbouring states. With the refurbishment of the Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) to Kisumu, the final link is now in place for seamless delivery of cargo at competitive rates to the East African Community trading partners.

The SGR will also serve the 32-berth seaport in Lamu, which is a key pillar of the KShs 2.5 trillion Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project. Kisumu Port was refurbished at a cost of KShs 700 million, as part of the Kenya Vision 2030 Big 4 Agenda projects to upgrade Kenya’s ports, rail and logistics services, under the Kenya Transport and Logistics Network (KTLN). The KTLN has consolidated the operations of Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Pipeline Company and Kenya Railways Corporation, with oversight provided by the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).

Isiolo Airport

Farmers in Isiolo, Meru and Laikipia counties following the recent completion of cargo shades at the Isiolo International Airport, which will allow them to export their produce to their target markets. Agencies led by Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya), Directorate of Miraa and Pyrethrum and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) intend to expand the market for the fresh produce industry via the airport.

The region is well known for producing commodities such as Miraa, pyrethrum, vegetables and flowers. The airport was officially opened in 2017. Small scale farmers are the main targets to enable them to reach out to domestic, regional (read East African Community) and global markets by cutting short the travel distance of the produce. The facility can now accommodate cargo flights.

New Kipevu Oil Terminal

Kipevu Oil terminal (KOT) which will be operational by April this year (2022). The stakeholders who are owners of oil tankers that handle petroleum products have been familiarized with the amenities of the terminal to ensure business efficiency. The new KOT is expected to revolutionize the handling of petroleum products at the Port of Mombasa. KPA has been constructing the ultra-modern 4 berths offshore facility that will improve port’s capacity to handle oil products and reduce on waiters further enhancing productivity. the 40 billion KPA funded facility will have 4 berths capable of handling six different hydrocarbon import and export products. It is also fitted with an LPG facility, crude oil and heavy fuel oil.

The KShs 40 billion offshore Kipevu Oil Terminal, the largest of its kind in Africa will have a 770-metre long jetty, currently at 96 per cent complete. It is wholly funded by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and implemented by the China Communications Construction Company.

When complete in April 2022, the offshore facility will be able to load and offload very large sea tankers of up to 200,000 DWT carrying all categories of petroleum products including crude oil, white oils and LPG. The new jetty will enhance supply and ensure price stability of petroleum products in Kenya and the region by replacing the 50-year old onshore Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT).

When operational, President Kenyatta noted that the new offshore jetty will save the country more than KShs 2 billion annually in demurrage costs incurred by oil shippers, thereby contributing to a significant reduction in fuel pump prices. The new facility will be able to reduce not only the cost of fuel, but also ensure that Kenya is able to consistently have an adequate supply of fuel for our needs and development needs that of our people.

The old Kipevu Oil Terminal was unable to meet the demands of Kenya’s increasing population and economy. The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has also completed the construction of 1.2 kilometer six-lane concrete Kipevu road to facilitate easy movement of cargo. The construction of the highway replacing the old four-lane road was co-financed by KPA and Trademark East Africa (TMEA) to the tune of Sh2 billion. The road, which is part of the improvement and expansion programme at the port of Mombasa, is located near Chaani and extends from Changamwe roundabout to KPA Gate 18 with an additional 200m inside the port area.

The road will also accommodate a 40 metres railway bridge with two cells for vehicles and a gate canopy for custom and security purposes. Completion of the Kipevu road and Sh500 million modern tug jetty adds to other multi-billion infrastructural projects aimed at increasing efficiency through the Mombasa Port Development Programme (MPDP) initiative.

Mombasa Cruise Ship Terminal Project

The new Mombasa Cruise Ship Terminal at the port of Mombasa is a boost Kenya’s tourism sector. The three-storey building will accommodate port health services, logistics, immigration, and duty-free shops among others, and offer visitors a one-stop-shop for travel and hospitality services. There is a dedicated section for cruise ships to dock at the port. It was built at a cost KShs 1 billion, with Sh250 million coming from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and the balance from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA). The new terminal is kind to the environment, since it is powered using solar energy and also has a bio-digester that will recycle water for re-use, according to KPA. It will replace the old Shade 1 and 2, for cruise liners.

Nairobi Western Bypass

This is the final link of Kenya’s capital city’s Ring Road Master Plan that includes the eastern, southern, and northern bypasses and is expected to be complete by September 2022. The road is being built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and funded by the Government of Kenya and the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank), and consists of 15 kilometres dual carriageway, 18 kilometres of service roads, and footpaths in selected sections. It will provide a seamless link to the Southern bypass at Gitaru town and to the Northern bypass at Ruaka avoiding the centre of Nairobi. and reducing the travel time along the highway. It will also ease traffic congestion by way of being an alternative route between Nairobi and Kiambu county towns and reducing commuting time for motorists travelling between Nakuru and the central region of Kenya.

The bypass starts in Gitaru and weaves through Wangige and Ndenderu to terminate at Ruaka and includes pedestrian barriers in the center to prevent people from passing through unauthorized areas. The seven interchanges on the Nairobi Western bypass are at Gitaru, Lower Kabete, Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu, Rumenye, and Ruaka, with 10 overpasses and five underpasses.

Mombasa Southern Bypass: Dongo Kundu Phase II (Miritini-Mwache)

Construction work on the multibillion-shilling Phase II of the Dongo Kundu Bypass is taking shape while creating jobs and business opportunities for the residents.

Also known as the Mombasa Southern Bypass, the highway will connect three main transport corridors, including the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, Mombasa-Malindi highway and the Mombasa- Lunga Lunga highway, thus reducing traffic gridlocks in Mombasa and its environs.

Phase I was completed in 2018 and joins the Mombasa-Nairobi highway at Bonje, near Mazeras. Phase II will also help to reduce congestion at the Likoni Ferry, facilitating easy movement of goods, services and people. The 17.7 km long bypass will cost KShs 22 billion, with an interchange at the Likoni-Lunga Lunga highway and erection of two bridges one at Mwache, spanning 660 metres, and another at Mteza straddling 1,440 metres.

It includes the construction of a series of roads, bridges and viaducts (a long bridge-like structure) linking Mombasa West to the South Coast in Kwale an important transport corridor for traffic destined to and from Tanzania and from the interior of the country and beyond. It will connect Mombasa mainland west to Mombasa mainland south, without entering Mombasa Island through the Likoni crossing channel. The third phase includes the construction of a six-kilometre road, from the Mteza Bridge to the Likoni-Lunga Lunga highway at Ngombeni area.

Thwake Multipurpose Dam

Thwake Multipurpose Dam, a Vision 2030 flagship project estimated to cost KShs 63 billion, will spur socio-economic development and ease perennial water shortages in Kitui once complete. It is being built in four main phases that include, construction of a 77 metre-high dam, hydro power generation, 34,600 cubic meters of water supply and a final phase of irrigating 40,000 hectares in Makueni and Kitui counties.

According to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) environmental impact assessment report, the dam is designed to supply piped water for domestic use, serve the Konza Techno City and adjacent towns, irrigate farms downstream in the two counties and generate 23 megawatts of hydro power. The multipurpose dam is a project under the Tanathi Water Services Board (TAWSB) and entails harnessing waters of the Athi River and Thwake River.

It will provide water for domestic use, livestock, irrigation, hydropower and even industrial activities in the beneficiary districts. The proposed dam will cover an area of approximately 2,900 hectares spanning Makueni, Machakos and Kitui counties with a catchment area of 10,276 square kilometres. It will address water scarcity and open the counties for economic activities like fishing and tourism.

Twice the size of Masinga dam, Thwake Multipurpose Dam will hold as much as three million cubic metres of water. The project is funded by the Government of Kenya and the African Development Bank (AFDB) on 65 per cent and 35 per cent ratio. The first phase of the project, which will cost Sh.30 billion, will connect households to clean water while the second phase will focus on irrigation to boost agribusiness. The third and last phase of the project will involve generation of hydropower where it is expected that the dam will contribute 20 MW to the national grid.

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