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National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority has commenced the construction of Umaa Dam in Kitui County which had stalled for over ten years. The Authority has contracted China Jiangxi, International Corporation to construct the dam at a cost of 1.9 billion shillings.

The Authority undertook a design review of the project where some of the structures from earlier construction will be retained and signed a contract for the same in December, 2023. The contractor mobilized to site in January, 2024 and the project is set to be complete in two years.

Umaa dam is one of the five initial Vision 2030 flagship projects located along river Nzeu

downstream of the confluence of Mukoleyka and Muvati rivers, about 170 kilometres from Nairobi City and 7kms Northeast of Kitui town. With a storage capacity of 1.228 MM3, and 3,975m3/day, the dam is set to serve a population of over 75,000 people in Kitui County.

The project components will comprise of the Dam embankment, spillway, water treatment works, Raw water main pipeline, storage tanks among others.

Some of the key benefits of the dam will include;

  • Increased access to domestic water that will reduce travel distance and time wasted in search of water.
  • Reduced incidences of waterborne diseases.
  • Improvement of the population’s overall health.
  • Downstream flood mitigation
  • Improved living standards for the area residents.
  • Employment creation during the construction phase and opportunities or permanent employment during the operation phase.

Growth of secondary business during the construction phase, e.g.; supply of spare parts for machinery to the contractor and private individuals, supply and maintenance of furniture, office equipment and stationery, food business, public transport and hospitality services among others.

Nationally, the project supports the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) in that water from the project will be used for irrigation and multi-purposes uses thus contributing immensely to food security.  

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