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Coast Development Authority rehabilitates dams, lakes to boost water supply

Coast
 A worker puts the final touches on the Coast Development Authority stand at the Mombasa International Show. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The Coast Development Authority (CDA) has started the rehabilitation of dams and freshwater lakes in bid boost water supply and irrigation in six Coastal counties.

The regional development agency said areas surrounding Kwale’s Sh20 billion Mwache multipurpose dam project are being improved to mitigate persistent water shortage in Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi counties.

The project also aims to improve water supply in Tana River, Taita Taveta, and Lamu counties.

Mwache dam is an 87.5-meter-tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic meters of water for supply and irrigation, and is expected to boost provision of the same to the three counties.

CDA Managing Director Mohamed Keinan said they have aligned all projects with the five-point Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA)

A spot check by The Standard revealed that CDA has constructed gabbions and installed markers and stakes around the banks of the dam site to prevent farming on the riparian land.

“The Mwache dam project is meant to harness the floodwaters from the Mwache River basin in Kinango sub-county and help tackle persistent water shortage in the coastal region,” he said.

Dr Keinan said that the authority is actively engaging stakeholders in raising awareness on the importance of riparian conservation to promote social and economic development in the region.

“CDA is committed to improving the social and economic well-being of residents in the Coastal region through strategic initiatives and collaborative partnerships and our focus is on fostering sustainable development, creating opportunities, and enhancing the quality of life for all,” he said.

On irrigation, he noted that CDA is involved in the Lake Challa smallholder Irrigation scheme in Taita Taveta and the Chakama smallholder Irrigation project in Kilifi.

The Sh3.3 billion Lake Challa project seeks to increase food security through the supply of water for irrigation, livestock production, and domestic use thereby building the community’s resilience to climate change.

Dr. Keinan said the Lake Challa irrigation scheme will ensure the prosperity of the people of Taita Taveta and fulfill BETA.

“CDA has prioritised food security programmes to help combat poverty among local communities striving to create a sustainable and inclusive environment where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive,” he said.

CDA Director Planning and Research Geoffrey Rono noted that they are now shifting focus on livestock feedlots to boost beef production, the fruit tree programme and the blue economy sector.

Dr Rono explained that the blue economy sector encompasses fisheries, maritime biotechnology, aquaculture, tourism, and marine transport and logistics and was the ‘next frontier of development for the coastal counties.

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