Kenya is building dams to end its cycle of floods and drought

Plagued by alternating floods and droughts partly brought on by changing weather patterns, Kenya’s government plans to build several new dams in a bid to improve water security and management in the East African nation.

The National Treasury is expected to approve the development of the $868 million Magwagwa multipurpose dam in the west of the country, according to Raymond Omollo, the chief executive officer of the Lake Basin Development Authority.

The dam, 95 meters high and 450 meters long, will be filled using water sources that normally flow into Lake Victoria, which lies at an intersection of the Kenyan, Ugandan and Tanzanian borders, and will be used to generate 120 megawatts of hydropower, he said in a phone interview.

The construction of the Koru-Soin dam, at an estimated 40 billion shillings ($375 million), will start soon and is planned to supply water to the western Kenya counties of Kisumu and Kericho, the Star newspaper reported March 12. From July, the government will accelerate a program to build other dams and increase water-harvesting in the semi-arid north of the country. Proposals to build embankments to prevent flooding on several rivers are also under consideration.

Read more at BNN Bloomberg (David Herbling, Samuel Gebre and Fred Ojambo)

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