Government and Locals Contrast Over Thwake Dam Priority

SUMMARY

  • The government insists Thwake dam to supply electricity while locals want the Sh62 billion dam to produce water for domestic purposes and irrigation.
  • The dam is hyped as the greatest water reservoir in the country.
  • The project is designed to be undertaken in four non-simultaneous phases: Construction of a reservoir, generation of power, installation of a water and sewerage system and building an irrigation system.

 

By Allan Tawai

Locals of Kitui and Makueni counties are locked in a discrepancy over what the proposed Thwake dam should produce first.

The government has insisted that the dam should give priority to produce electricity first, an idea that has met bitter resistance from locals who want the Sh62 billion dam to produce water for domestic purposes and irrigation

On Friday, Water CS Eugene Wamalwa met the leaders and families that will be displaced and announced that construction begins next month.

“We want to come here in January with the President and his deputy to do the official ground breaking,” Mr Wamalwa said at the meeting in Wote town, Makueni County.

He defended the prioritization of the electricity generation.

“Some of the power will be needed to pump water to higher levels for subsequent distribution,” he said, “a portion of the power will be required to run Konza Technocity and the rest will be injected into the national grid.”

The dam is hyped as the greatest water reservoir in the country.

“The two projects are interconnected. Once Thwake dam is completed, Konza Technocity project will take off,” the minister said.

Though governors Charity Ngilu of Kitui County, Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni and Alfred Mutua of Machakos praised the government for the project, they insisted that it would be of little significance to the region if implemented as planned.

“The four phases should happen concurrently. Our people should not wait for decades to get its fruits,” said Dr Mutua.

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