The Mombasa County Government is constructing a Sh1.6 billion plant to tap and process drinking water from the Indian Ocean.
Governor Hassan Joho said the plant would start desalinating seawater in 2021.
The project is expected to offer residents an additional source of water to end a perennial shortage the region has suffered.
The tender was advertised in 2016 before it was awarded to Almar Water Solutions, a Spanish company. "It has been a long journey for the desalination project. However, we are happy it is finally taking shape," the governor said yesterday after signing an agreement with the company in Mombasa town.
The plant is expected to produce at least 100,000 cubic meters of water every day. "The project, to be located in the north mainland, will supply quality water to more than 1 million people,” Joho said.
He added: "The water crisis that has dodged this region for the last three decades will now be a thing of the past, as this plant will supplement the present supply from Mzima Springs, Voi and Malindi."
The county's three main water sources are only able to supply 48,000 cubic meters per day, which was not adequate.
The governor said the county government had awarded another tender to Aqua Swiss Company, from Saudi Arabia, to put up another desalination project in Likoni.
The plant Aqua Swiss Company will build is smaller and will provide 30,000 cubic meters per day. "When I was elected, one of the things I promised residents was enhanced access to clean drinking water. I'm keen on fulfilling all the promises I made," Joho said.