Construction of the Thwake multi-purpose dam in Kitui and Makueni Counties is set to displace 519 families to allow for the construction of the dam. The dam worth KES21bn will provide water for domestic use and Konza Techno City. The water will also be used for irrigation on farms downstream in the two counties. The dam is expected to generate 23MW of power.
Thwake Dam is among the Kenya Vision 2030 flagship projects designed to serve over 80,000 people and is expected to take three years to complete. The water reservoir will cover 10,276 square kilometers once completed, making it one of a kind in the country.
African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a loan agreement to eject KES7.3bn with the Government of Kenya shouldering KES13bn to help finance the dam. On the other hand, evictees will be awarded KES2bn from this year’s budget as compensation. The project will require an additional of KES55bn to actualize the irrigation, water supply and power generation components of the dam.
Samez Consultants did initial dam design which comprised of an earth-fill dam with a central clay core and the appurtenant structures. Later on consultancy service was awarded to CAS Consultants to select a rock-fill dam with a central core due to inadequate clay materials for the construction of an earth-fill dam proposed in the earlier design.
Since 2009, engineers have been conducting geological surveys in the region to determine the strength of the underground rocks. In November 2013, bids were open and submitted and evaluation report forwarded to AfDB and No objection awarded.