Kenya launches construction of US $194m Thiba Dam

27 November 2017

Kenya has recently launched the construction of the US $194m Thiba Dam in Kirinyaga County. The ceremony was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa was also present at the ground breaking ceremony.

The project is expected to reach completion in the next three years. Part of the dam’s funding will come from the Japanese Government. They have since kept their initial pledge of US $11.64m. The Kenyan Government will contribute US $48.5m.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) will oversee as well as support the construction of the dam. According to the Deputy President, the dam is the first of 57 others that the government has pledged to construct in the next five years as part of the Jubilee manifesto.

The project is also expected to create employment for local youth. He added that part of the money allocated to the project must go to residents.


The project had also been delayed by court battles at the expense of rice farmers who put their hopes on its actualization to boost their farming.

The court wrangles emerged over compensations of hundreds of families who were displaced to pave way the for the dam’s construction. Some were reported to have started moving back to the area at some point.

The 132 farmers identified for compensation also argued that the irrigation board only compensated landowners. Their grievances were that their children and other vulnerable groups were left out. Most of the affected families have already been compensated but 20% are yet to receive payment. However, the government said it is addressing the matter.


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