More than 4,000 people who will be affected by the construction of the Sh14.8 billion Mwache dam project will be compensated before the project starts next year.
Officer in charge of the project management unit Simon Mwangi said in an interview on Wednesday that designs and bidding for the project is expected to be completed soon.
“In several weeks to come, we expect to finalise on the designs and bidding for the project, but since there are many stakeholders and other players involved in this project, we expect the take off to begin early next year,” Mr Mwangi said.
He said that compensation plans are currently going on and are being overseen by the Water ministry. He said once the project is completed, it will end perennial water shortage in both Mombasa and Kwale counties by pumping 196,000 litres of water daily.
Coast Water Services Board CEO Jacob Torrut said that they are currently finalising on tender documents for treatment works and transmission that will cut across Mombasa North and Mombasa South including Changamwe.
He said although the project is under their jurisdiction, it is being implemented by the national government because it is a huge one.
“We are mandated with preparing the designs for the treatment works and transmission mains from Mwache to the rest of the two counties (Mombasa and Kwale), this segment being funded by World Bank and Agence Francaise De Development (AFD),” said Mr Torrut.
He further said that the construction of the dam is expected to take between four and five years and will be one of the biggest in Kenya.
On Tuesday, during the commissioning of the multi-billion shillings Devki Steel manufacturing plant in Kinango, Kwale governor Salim Mvurya called for compensation for those who will be affected by the construction of the dam.
Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari said that locals must be compensated and also considered for jobs before the project takes off.
“We want the locals to be compensated for their land loss following the construction of that dam. We also ask the government to consider them for jobs instead of outsiders,” Mr Tayari said.
In July last year, the National Land Commission was given Sh150 million by then Water and Irrigation CS Eugene Wamalwa to begin compensation for the residents whose land will be used for the construction for the multi-purpose dam.
Speaking in an interview on Thursday, NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri said they are currently on the preliminary stage of identifying the affected persons in readiness for the compensation.
“We are still at the preliminary stage and in fact what we have done is that we have only given out a notice of intention to acquire the land. That is all at the moment,” said Prof Swazuri.
NLC has said in its website that residents will be compensated for crops, structures and land to pave way for construction of the dam.
“The project will require 1,600 acres of land and will involve displacement of approximately 4,250 persons whose assets and livelihoods may be affected, as well as access to natural or economic resources as a result of activities under the Mwache dam project,” NLC said.