Kenya to raise $3.8bn for dam projects

The Kenya government is to construct the Nandi Forest dam on the River Yala.

The government of Kenya is in talks with various financiers such as the World Bank to raise around KES332bn ($3.8bn) for the construction of eight dams in the country.

The dams are expected to improve agriculture and add approximately 127,557 hectares of land under irrigation.

They will also provide potable water to nearly four million people and generate about 930MW of hydroelectricity.

Kenya Regional Development minister Fred Gumo was quoted by The Business Daily Africa as saying that: "The detailed design and tender documents for five of the proposed multi-purpose dams are ready and the government is mobilising resources to complete
them in eight years."

About KES1bn ($11m) has been allocated from the treasury for the feasibility studies on the five proposed dams, namely Mwache dam on the River Mwache, High Grand Falls on the River Tana, Nandi Forest dam on the River Yala, Magwagwa on the River Sondu and Arror dam on the River Arror.

The studies were conducted to examine the dams' abilities to provide water for domestic consumption, irrigation, fishing, industrial use, hydro electricity production and tourism.

Kenya Regional Development Authorities Permanent Secretary Carey Orege said, "We are talking with a number of financiers such as World Bank which might take up financing of Magwagwa."

The government is constructing the five proposed dams as a part of its plan to develop 18 lined up projects and is expecting that the multi-purpose dams will prove economically beneficial for the rural parts of the country.

Image: The Kenya government to construct Nandi Forest dam on River Yala. Photo: Mbohnen