The High Grand Falls Multi-Purpose Reservoir project is one of LAPSSET Corridor projects, planned to be on River Tana. The project principle components are the High Grand Falls dam and hydro power plant. This water supply project is projected to cater for the needs of 15 million people, solving the water shortage situation in Lamu County.
With attempts to revolutionize irrigation-based farming, the government came up with ideas to build water reservoirs across the country with the High Grand Falls dam costing a total of Sh2 billion being part of it.
The High Grand Falls dam project was conceptualized in 2009.The project will cover 165 sq. km and hold 5.6 billion cubic metres of water that will irrigate more than 250,000 hectares of farmland. The dam is also expected to mitigate flooding in the coastal counties and add nearly 700MW to the national power grid.
Upon completion, the dam will be the largest water storage facility in Kenya and the second largest dam in Africa after the 5,250 sq. km Aswan High Dam in Egypt on River Nile.
As reported by construction Kenya, the government ,in 2014 finalised procurement with the China State Construction Engineering Corp to build the High Grand Falls Dam at a cost of Sh150 billion; and later decided to tender the project afresh under the build-operate-transfer model that does not require it to procure any funding for the project.
According to Pumps Africa Journal, there was a procurement dispute in May 2018, where GBM Engineering Consortium won the deal in a tendering process featuring seven companies, five of them being Chinese firms, but the National Irrigation Board (NIB) declined to accept its win. The dispute was resolved after Irrigation Principal Secretary Fred Segor and Public Procurement Review Board (PPRB) upheld an earlier ruling that GBM Engineering Consortium be allowed to undertake the multibillion project.
Construction Kenya reported that, PPRB heard the matter and determined the dispute in favour of GBM on July 2018. The agency directed the NIB to conclude the tendering process but NIB disregarded the ruling and cancelled the tender.
The PPRB later ruled that the government had no legal basis to cancel the tender or delay its award to the British firm.