KENYA: Pemba Dam back in operation after rehabilitation

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KENYA: Pemba Dam back in operation after rehabilitation ©Kenyan Ministry of Water

The Pemba Dam, located in Kwale County, Kenya, is operational again. The dam has just been reactivated by Alice Wahome, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation. Most of the work involved the construction of a new raw water intake and a water treatment plant.

The Pemba dam is once again operational after about five years of work. The rehabilitated water reservoir was re-launched on April 4, 2023 in the presence of Alice Wahome, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation of Kenya. The Kenyan official was accompanied by several officials, including those of the Kenyan company Coast Water Works Development Agency (CWWDA), which was selected by Athi Water Works Development Agency (AWWDA) in 2019 to implement the water project.

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Commissioned in 1980 in Kwale County, on the Pemba River, the dam’s 4-meter high spillway was damaged by the rains caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon, making it impossible to discharge the floodwaters “to a discharge arm or ditch.

Water supply for 30,000 people

Thus, as part of its contract, the CWWDA has rehabilitated the failing spillway, which is between 25 and 30 meters long. The Pemba Dam also has a new raw water intake connected to a new water treatment plant with a daily capacity of 3,000 m3.

Drinking water is expected to benefit an additional 30,000 people in Kwale and Mombasa counties. Kenya aims to achieve universal coverage for all Kenyans by 2030. Currently, about 28 million Kenyans still do not have access to a safe water source out of the East African country’s population of nearly 58 million, according to the international organization The water from the Pemba Dam will also be used for crop irrigation.

The water project, which ends with the re-launch of the Pemba Dam, cost 286 million Kenyan shillings (more than $2.1 million), funded by the Kenyan government with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Inès Magoum

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