The Managing Director, TARDA, Mr Steven Ruimuku, staff and Local leaders this weekend hosted the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning Mr. Irungu Nyakera CBS, at the proposed site of the High Grand Falls Dam in Tharaka Nithi County. Mr Irungu visited the site as part of  his familiarization tour of projects under  development by regional Authority’s in his ministry.

The one day tour saw the PS visit the site of the proposed  165 square kilometer High Grand Falls Dam set to  cost 150 billion Kenya shillings with a holding capacity of over 5.6 billion cubic meters of water and generating over 700 Megawatts of electricity.

The Managing Director, TARDA, Mr Ruimuku briefs the PS on the progress of the High Grand Falls Project. He highlighted its main benefits among them, Electricity generation, improved  infrastructure, flood mitigation, employment, food security and revenue generation.

 

 

 

In addition to these benefits, the MD informed the PS that an additional six earth dams will be built upstream to cater for irrigation. He further added that a massive sensitization exercise will be carried out by the Authority in the area to educate local residents on the benefits of the project and also counter fears of displacement expressed by the community.

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In addition to the project brief, Mr Ruimuku put emphasis on catchment conservation, saying that in 1978, the world Bank advised the government of Kenya to set aside 750 million shillings annually for Masinga Dam upstream conservation. This catchment conservation would ensure maximum production capacity over the years. He pointed out that ignoring of this advise has seen the Dam experience low production capacity due to siltation.

The PS welcomed the project, saying that it will be a major revenue generator for the government and of benefit to the community  and other stakeholders in employment and food production.

On completion in six years, the High Grand Falls will be the second biggest dam in Africa, after the 5,250 square kilometer Aswan High Dam in Egypt along the River Nile. The project was approved by President Kibaki’s Government in 2009 as part of an ambitious endeavor to build 1,000 water reservoirs across the country for irrigation based agriculture.

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