The Government has so far paid over two and half billion Shillings to relocate people for the construction of the Thwake Multi-Purpose Water Development Project.
The 60 billion Shillings dam located in Kitui County, is the biggest to ever be constructed in the country and will provide clean water to over 1.3 million.
The dam will store over 150,000 cubic meters of water, some which will be used to irrigate 100,000 acres of land in both Kitui and Makueni Counties to turn the area into an agricultural farmland that will produce a variety of food.
The project area is classified as an Arid and Semi-Arid, which is characterized by very low levels of rainfall averaging about 690mm per annum. This results in prevalent acute water shortages.
Equally, the area is not endowed with surface water resources, except Athi River, which is a perennial river and which drains vast areas of the basin before finally draining into the Indian Ocean near Malindi Town.
The river is fed by several other tributaries, which are seasonal in nature but which carry huge volumes of water during the rainy seasons. One of these rivers is the Thwake River, which joins the main Athi River near Kathukuni and Nduyu Hills in the Makueni and Kitui counties respectively, and at a distance of approximately 1km upstream of the proposed dam axis.
The main objective is to increase water storage for rural and urban domestic, livestock and hydropower with principal focus on the semi-arid counties of Kitui and Makueni.
Over 1,800 youth will directly be employed and over 6000 indirectly through the project. It is estimated that 30,000 local suppliers and subcontractors will benefit from the project directly.
The dam will also be the primary source of water for the proposed Konza ICT City.
The principal areas that have been targeted as the main beneficiaries of water are Kathonzweni, Wote, Kibwezi and the neighbouring areas in Makueni County and the Yatta Plateau in Kitui County.
The design of the dam and the subsequent implementation are in pursuit of the realization of the Republic of Kenya Vision 2030 and it funded by both the government and the African development Bank.
A total of 1792 families will be relocated to pave way for the project, with 935 already compensated.