The county governments of Makueni and Kitui respectively signed a contract to construct the Thwake Multi-Purpose Dam. The contract is between the Government and China Gezhouba Group Company. It also ensures that construction of the dam located in Kitui County starts immediately.
According to the water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, the dam is currently the largest project of its kind in East Africa. It will commence in the next 3 months. Thwake Dam will provide clean water to over 1.3m people.
The dam will store over 150,000 m3 of water. Some of this will get channelled towards irrigation efforts. The area is not endowed with surface water resources. That is, save for the perennial Athi River which drains vast areas of the basin into the Indian Ocean near Malindi Town.
Several other seasonal tributaries which carry huge volumes of water during the rainy seasons feed into the river. One of these rivers is the Thwake River, which joins the main Athi River near Kathukuni and Nduyu Hills in the Makueni and Kitui counties respectively. The dam will increase water storage for rural and urban domestic and hydropower.
Over 1,800 youth will gain direct employment while another 6,000 indirectly through the project. About 30,000 local suppliers and sub-contractors will benefit directly from the project.
The dam will be the source of water for the proposed Konza ICT City. Areas targeted as main beneficiaries of water are Kathonzweni, Wote, Kibwezi and the neighbouring areas in Makueni County and the Yatta Plateau in Kitui County.