Cabinet approves construction of dams, water pan rehabilitation for Sh83 billion

President William Ruto chairing a cabinet meeting at State House on Friday, October 3, 2023. [Courtesy, PCS]

The Cabinet has approved the construction of more dams in the country.

More than 4,000 water pans will also be rehabilitated in a new plan that seeks to ensure a stable water supply.

The move, which is in line with the Government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda,  will guarantee water availability for irrigation and domestic use.

The plan which will cost Sh83 billion includes the construction of 25 medium-sized dams serving mainly arid regions.

The dams are expected to supply a cumulative total of 353 million litres, serving more than 600,000 households.

The Cabinet in recognition of the effects of climate change and in compliance with the 15 billion tree pledge has designated a special working day for tree planting.

This aligns with the Government's National Tree Planting Campaign under the Presidential Programme for the Accelerated Restoration of Forests and Rangelands.

Each Cabinet Secretary will be tasked with adopting at least two counties and providing leadership in the initiative.

Kenya seeks to plant more than 15 billion trees by 2032.

This is aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions and restoring forest cover.

The Cabinet also approved the Public Audit (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which enhances the independence of the Auditor-General.

The Bill also strengthens accountability and transparency in the use of public resources.

It empowers the Auditor-General to conduct periodic citizen accountability audits to ensure public participation in the audit.

The Auditor-General will also have the power to conduct compliance audits to examine whether a public entity has complied with relevant laws in the management of public resources.

In a bid to enhance the citizens' quality of life, the Cabinet endorsed the National Retirement Benefit Policy.

The policy will harmonise governance, and expand informal sector coverage, ensuring portability, affordability and benefit adequacy besides introducing post-retirement medical benefits.

Moreover, the Cabinet sanctioned preparations for hosting the Youth Connekt Africa Summit 2023 set to be held in Nairobi this December.

The initiative that has been validated by the African Union aims at empowering young people through entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership.

In what could spike growth and job creation, the Cabinet further approved policies, programmes and projects in partnership with the World Bank.

In support of quality job creation and the growth of small businesses, the Cabinet approved the Kenya Jobs and Economic Transformation Project.

It also gave a nod to the Kenya Water Sanitation and Hygiene Programme, which seeks to improve water and sanitation services, eliminate open defecation, and enhance the financial performance of water service providers.