Kwale County Assembly suspends construction of sh4.8bn Mwache Dam

The ongoing construction of Mwache Dam in Kwale that is expected to provide water in the Coast region. Kwale County assembly has suspended construction of the dam./Brivian Simiyu

Kwale, KENYA: Kwale County assembly has suspended the construction of the sh.4.8 billion Mwache dam just a month after it’s commission.

The county assembly passed a bill that will see the Shimoni Integrated Development Plan and Mwache dam water project in the county suspended on grounds that they do not benefit locals and county government.

Addressing members of the press on Wednesday, assembly majority leader Raia Mkungu said that the house was not impressed with the existence of the two mega projects which they were never consulted about thus expressed concern over the compensation terms for the locals.

Mkungu who is also the MCA for Ramisi ward termed the existence of the two projects as illegal since the assembly did not approve any of them hence no agreement was reached on how county government would benefit from its resources.

“On behalf of Kwale people, we have resolved that any activities at the intended port and Mwache dam water project be suspended immediately until proper consultations and approval by assembly are made,” he said.

“The assembly was to be consulted so that it would assess the projects in terms of their output and what locals would gain and what would go out,” he added.

The MCA said the move would avoid making blunders that would cost the local government for failing to set up a legal framework that would outline the benefits it would enjoy from exploitation of its resources by local investors.

“We need to take action to prevent the same mistake from happening like what Base Titanium offers to the locals is 10% of its royalty, 20% to county government and 70% goes to the national government,” he said.

On his part, Mwereni ward representative Manza Benja said the matter had been presented before Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya but it was never put into consideration.

“These projects have to stop or else we will take to the streets a massive protest that would see our people liberated from oppression,” he said.

Construction of the  Mwache dam project, expected to supply water to Kwale and Mombasa counties, was commissioned last month.

The dam is expected to pump at least 196,000 litres of water daily. It would take four years to complete and requires 1,600 acres of land, displacing more than 4,000 families.