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Water and Irrigation Sector in Kenya

The water sector in Kenya offers good investment opportunities given that as the economy expands all sectors will require huge supply and efficient use of water. Potential areas for public private investment include;
1. Water Storage and Drilling: Capacity Building of National Water
Conservation and Pipeline Corporation Kenya is a water scarce country, with per capita freshwater endowment and water storage well
below international standards. The country’s water storage capacity is among the lowest in the world and stands at 5.3m per capita. Development of water storage capacity is therefore of the highest priority for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. The Government has set a goal of increasing per capita storage capacity to 16m by 2012.
As the construction arm of the government in the water sector, National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC) is mandated to undertake construction of Dams and boreholes. It is therefore necessary to strengthening its capacity to complement the capacity of the private sector to build the national water storage, and to inject price competitiveness, hence ensuring value for money. Opportunity therefore exists for investors to partner with National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC) in  establishing 3 fully equipped dam construction units each consisting of Dozers, D7 or equivalent ( 2), Excavator (1), Compactor (sheepsfoot) (1), Scrapper (4), Shovel (2), Lorries (Tippers) (4), Mobile workshop (1) and 5 drilling units each consisting of fully mounted drilling rig (capacity of 450m, compressor 1300cfm (350psi) Mud pump) and accessories, 10 Ton Lorry (1) Mobile workshop (1), 4 wheel drive vehicles (2), 6m3 Tanker (1), 2m3 Water dowser (1). The construction and drilling units will enable the NWCPC to effectively construct dams and boreholes thereby enhancing the capacity of the corporation.
Other potential areas of investments includes; expansion on infrastructure in 15 satellite towns and in 26 medium towns; construction of 180 new water and sanitation projects annually in the rural areas; drilling of 140 boreholes annually in the ASAL areas, expanding storage facilities by constructing 22 medium sized and 2 large multipurpose dams, construction of 160 small dams/water pans annually in the ASAL areas, expansion of water and sanitation in the proposed resort coastal city, development and expansion and rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure countrywide.
2. Mzima II Pipeline Project
This is a high capital investment project that is intended to deliver about 160,000m3/day of water from Mzima Springs to Mombasa, over a distance of about 220km. The main component is a conveyance system to transport water by gravity. There is an opportunity in this regard for a turnkey arrangement involving provision of financing as well as engineering design and construction services, at terms to be negotiated. There is also potential for Joint Ventures (JV), and Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangements. The estimated investment cost is US$300million.
3. Tana Delta Irrigation Rehabilitation and Expansion
The Tana Delta has a high potential for increasing irrigation acreage, thus contributing significantly to food security particularly rice production in this country. The project therefore needs rehabilitation and expansion to realize its full potential which is estimated at 6,000Ha. An opportunity therefore exists for investors to team up with the Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) to actualize this project. The estimated cost is US$50million.
4. Maragua Dam for Nairobi Water Supply
The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has identified development of Maragua Dam to be implemented on Design Build and Transfer basis which is ideal for the type of support that the Government of China provides. The implementing agency and asset owner will be the Athi Water Services Board as provided for under the Water Act 2002.
Preliminary appraisal of the project was undertaken and advertised internationally for interested and suitable Engineering Firms to submit technical and financial proposals for design, implementation and transfer. The Chinese Firm of Sinohydro Corporation was
eventually identified as the most suitable. Implementation of the dam project is estimated to cost KSh 25 billion and will be constructed over a period of 3 years.
Once implemented, the dam will not only bridge the present gap in water supply to Nairobi, but will also go long way in meeting the requirements of the City and its environs for the year 2030.