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Water board invites bids for construction of five dams

COUNTIES
By WAINAINA NDUNG'U | April 13th 2016
Cabinet Secretary water and irrigation Eugene Wamalwa with Igembe North MP Joseph M'eruaki(left) and women representative Florence Kajuju,after commissioning Nkamathi borehole on 12th March 2016 at Igembe constituency Meru county. PHOTO PETER MUTHOMI

The Tana Water Services Board plans to construct five multipurpose dams to fulfill a pledge made by Jubilee Government to Meru residents.

The board has invited bids from development consortium or joint ventures to build the dams with a combined capacity of 145.8 million cubic metres of water.

The dams include a giant one on river Kithino that will have a capacity of 103 million cubic metres to serve residents in South Imenti, Central Imenti and Tharaka constituencies.

Others are South Maara with 27 million cubic metres for Maara Constituency, East Marania (7.6 million cubic metres), Thangatha (4.2 million cubic metres) for Tigania East and Tigania West, Ura (0.5 million cubic metres) for Igembe North and Igembe Central and Thingithu (3.4 million cubic metres) for South Imenti, Central Imenti and Tharaka.

The board said the winning bidders will source for funds, provide consulting services and undertake construction works. The services will include carrying out the social and environmental impact assessment, detailed dam design while construction phase will be within two years.

But raising resources for the projects that local leaders such as South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi say are critical to Jubilee's retention of political goodwill in the area will certainly be a tall order.

According to the board, bidders to be shortlisted must demonstrate ability to raise a combined US$570 million (Sh57 billion). The bidder for the Kithino dam is required to raise Sh25 billion, Maara Sh15 billion, Kianjuri Sh7 billion while Thangatha/Ura and Thingithu will cost Sh5 billion each.

The dams will supply domestic and irrigation water by gravity and will have mini-hydro power generation units and provision for water sports.

"The board has advertised for interest to design and construct Kianjuri dam in Buuri, just above Ntirimiti. Let's pray all goes well and the project takes off soon," Buuri MP Kinoti Gatobu said yesterday.

Last month, Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa toured the project sites, a visit that local leaders hailed as demonstration of the Government seriousness to implement the project.

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