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Regional Development Projects in Kenya


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Regional development programmes in Kenya were initiated to raise the socio – economic status of the local communities by exploiting the unique natural resources of the areas. Due to the abundance and variety of the unexploited resources there is need for integrated programmes that yield both social and economic benefits in a sustainable manner.

These projects offer an opportunity for Public Private Partnership. Prospective private investors stand to reap economic gains through the sales of services and products, e.g. electricity sales, water sale to the Water Regulatory Board and Irrigators, fishery and tourism investments on the multipurpose dams, hotels business and agro-processing products. The Country will on the other
hand, benefit through improvement of food sustainability, water development, environmental conservation, skills and appropriate technology transfer. In pursuing PPP the Government will undertake the following;
i. Liaise with all the relevant Ministries, to ensure an enabling business environment for the implementation of the project e.g. acquisition of letter of land allotment/lease certificate.
ii. Facilitate the suitable Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement such as Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) and the extension of the term of engagement of the investor when necessary with the relevant authority.
iii. Facilitate the acquisition of tax-exemption on all necessary goods and equipment as provided for under the Laws of Kenya where applicable.
iv. Monitoring and evaluation of project implementation and management; and v. Through the relevant Regional Development Authority (RDA):

  •   Coordinate the mobilization, sensitization and promotion of the project to the local community
  •   Facilitate the required statutory obligations within the RDA’s area of jurisdiction e.g., EIA license, water permits, etc.

On the other hand, the investors will be expected to undertake the following;
i. Invest in the development of the project.
ii. Undertake to facilitate conducting of a feasibility study and EIA.
iii. Facilitate the formation of a Legal entity to undertake the management of the project.
iv. Mobilize resources for the realization of the project. Details of such resources will be agreed upon with the Investor.
Below are the investment opportunities in integrated regional development;
1.  Gum Arabic and Gum Resins Development Programmes
Acacia – Commiphora which is the main raw material for producing gum arabic and gum resins grows abundantly in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands especially in the Northern Kenya. The product is widely used as an emulsifier in foods, diet drinks, ink, textiles, paper and paints in adhesives, pharmaceutical and print industries. Currently, Local trade of raw gum arabic is generally low. Consumption of processed gum Arabic is large. A Survey has revealed that in Nairobi alone consumption is in the order of 700 metric tonnes (MT). Biggest consumption is in the paint industry (560 MT), followed by food industry (86 MT) and ink industry (20 MT).
From available data, raw Gum Arabic exported from Kenya currently fetches about US$2.3 per kg in the world market which reflects gross earnings in the excess of (US$ 2.5 million). Further, given that collectors earned US$1.5 per kg of raw gum delivered, close to US$1.8 million is ploughed back into the Northern pastoral economies. Kenya produces over 90% of all myrrh traded in the world market. Total world demand is estimated at around 2500 tonnes/year. There exist investment opportunity in production and value addition in gum arabic and gum resins for local, regional and international market.
2. High Grand Fall Multi-Purpose Reservoir Project in Eastern Province
The overall goal of the project is sustainable development and food security by developing systems for water transfer, river navigation, irrigation, generation of hydropower, promote  sports tourism and fisheries. Sustainability of the project will be realized through sale of 700mw of electric power to the national grid, production of food and cash crops through irrigation of 180,000 ha of land. The dam will also have a capacity storing 5.5 billion cubic metric of water. The government has finalized feasibility studies, technical designs and drawing and now looking for investors to implement the project.
3. Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir and Kibwezi Irrigation Project
The project covers central and Eastern provinces. Its overall goal is food security and revenue generation. The feasibility study for the project is complete and when implemented will be expected to irrigate 13,000 ha of land and produce 40mw of hydro- electric power. The benefits of the project will arise from sale of the 40mw power to the national grid and production of food and cash crop.
4. Kiambere Solar Integrated Farm
The solar energy integrated farm under Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) will generate 30MW of solar energy and produce horticultural produce from rainwater for domestic market and for export. The farm will provide new opportunities for employment, opportunities for horticultural produce and capacity building for community in the region.
The project is estimated to cost USD 357,000 to be implemented under PPP framework with expected return of USD 0.15 per KWH.
  5. Magwagwa Multi-purpose Project
The project is to cover Kisii, Nyando, Nyamira and Rachuonyo districts in Nyanza provinces. The overall goal of the project is to spur economic development in the region in particular and the country in general by producing electric energy for socio-economic development, water for domestic and industrial use. It will also help conserve the environment. The expected outputs are 120 MW of additional hydropower, water catchments conservation (316,000 Ha), water supply to approximately 60000 households and 15,000 ha of irrigated land.
6. Nandi Hydropower Integrated Development Programme
The project is based in Yala River basin in Tinderet Division of Nandi District. The irrigation component will be in Kano, while water supply will traverse the project area. The overall goal of the project is poverty alleviation and sustainable development. The project is expected to produce multi-purpose water storage dam of 275 million cubic metres, 60 MW of electricity, irrigated 17,000 ha of land for rice/horticulture, supply of water to Kisumu Town and environs, enhanced industrial activities in the region, increased agro-businesses and agricultural processing, conservation of about 135,000 ha of catchment area and reduced flood problems in the lower reaches of River Yala.
Feasibility study, technical drawings and design have been completed and the Government is looking for investors for the project. The benefits are to come from revenues from sale of hydropower, water supply and agricultural produce.
7.  Webuye-Teremi Multipurpose Project
The project will cover Bungoma East and Bungoma Central districts in Western Province. The overall goal of the project is poverty alleviation and rural industrial development. The expected  output includes 32 MW of hydropower, conservation of 840,000 ha of water catchment area, improved water supply, increased fish production and 40 ha irrigated land.
8.  Ewaso Ng’iro North Integrated Natural Resource Conservation Project (ADF)
The project covers the entire Ewaso Ng’iro North region and is being undertaken for six years since 2006/07 in order to contribute to poverty reduction through sustainable natural resources conservation and management at an estimated cost of KShs.2.5 billion. Its
components are Water Resource Development and Management, Participatory Catchment Conservation and Project Coordination and Capacity Building. The project covers the entire Ewaso Ng’iro North region and is being undertaken for six years since 2006/07 in order to contribute to poverty reduction through sustainable natural resources conservation and management at an estimated cost of KShs.2.5 billion. Its components are Water Resource Development and Management, Participatory Catchment Conservation and Project Coordination and Capacity Building.
Expected outputs are: Rehabilitation and construction of 229 and 34 new water Pans respectively; Rehabilitation and establishment of 54 and 47 new boreholes respectively; Construction of 4 small flood water storage structures (50,000 cubic metres capacity); 73 roof catchments for schools, protection of 5 springs; Upgrading of 6 existing manual river gauging stations to automatic readings and establishment of 4 new automatic river gauging stations; Hydrological data collection from installation of 6 sub-meteorological stations; Support of agro-forestry and community fuel-wood plantations through private production of 2.7 million seedlings supplying 81,200 households for planting of an area of 700 ha, an additional 1300 ha of community fuel-wood; Protection of 24,000 ha of indigenous forests through participatory forest management; Enhancement of food security, focusing on support to beekeeping and gums and resins; Training of technical staff and targeted beneficiaries; Strengthening of participatory processes involving community-based demand-driven initiatives; Only 8.5% and 30% of the loan and grant components respectively implemented;
Rehabilitation and construction of 229 and 34 new water Pans respectively; Rehabilitation and establishment of 54 and 47 new boreholes respectively; Construction of 4 small flood water storage structures (50,000 cubic metres capacity); 73 roof catchments for schools, protection of 5 springs; Upgrading of 6 existing manual river gauging stations to automatic readings and establishment of 4 new automatic river gauging stations; Hydrological data collection from installation of 6 sub-meteorological stations ;Support of agro-forestry and community fuelwood plantations through private production of 2.7 million seedlings supplying 81,200
households for planting of an area of 700 ha, an additional 1300 ha of community fuel-wood; Protection of 24,000 ha of indigenous forests through participatory forest management; Enhancement of food security, focusing on support to beekeeping and gums and resins; Training of technical staff and targeted beneficiaries; Strengthening of participatory processes involving community-based demand-driven initiatives.
9. Integrated Mau Catchment’s Conservation and Development
The project covers Narok North and South, Nakuru and Molo districts. The objectives of the project are to protect Mau forest as a water catchment, promote reforestation, diversify economic activities and promote development of eco-tourism facilities. The major output of the project will be reforestation of 10,000 ha of Mau forest, tree planting, 3 tea factories, 5 ecolodges and 500 ha of commercial forestry.
10.  Integrated Greater Mara Tourism Development
The objectives of the project includes promotion of diversified tourism products, investment in new tourism products and promotion of new tourist circuits to reduce pressure on the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The major output of the project includes diversification of tourism, branding of tourism products and circuits road network. This project is both sustainable and commercially viable.
11.  Coast Development area Investment Opportunities: Tourism and other sectors.
Coast development offers investment opportunities in the following areas;

Exciting Articles

  •   Fisheries and Aquaculture: the resource is 680 KM coastline and 350 nautical miles EEZ and fisheries. Annual fish production is only 7,000 metric tons which account for only 5% of the total national fish production. Despite high demand for tuna products in the world market, there is only one canning factory in Seychelles and a small one in Mauritius, with none along the east Africa coast except a semi processing facility in Mombasa. Most of the tuna caught is therefore transshipped whole.
  •   Other opportunities exist in Prawn farming at Ngomeni; Cold storage and processing facilities at Lamu, Malindi and Shimoni; Boat making industry ;Aquaculture
  •   Island tourism by investing in amphibious vehicles to promote city concept, ecotourism and boat fishing to benefit 2.5 million people.
  •   High Value Star Rated Cruise Industry,
  •   6,000 seater conference, conventional and exhibition centre in Mombasa,
  • Resort Cities in two strategic sites in the coast region,
  • Charter Flights,
  •   Water Sports,
  •   Development of free trade zone and freeport for trade and multi-use for both domestic and foreign direct investments,
  •   Cashew nut production and processing for exports in Kilifi,
  •   Fruit production & processing in Malindi, Kilifi and Kwale i.e. cashew nuts and mango production and processing
  •   Export/commercial slaughter houses and tanneries at Garsen and Maungu
  • Bee keeping and Honey Refinery at Malindi
  •   Commercial ranching and animal breeding
  • ugarcane production in Ramisi area,
  •   Jetropha production for energy production,
  • Bixa production and processing for food pigment and colouring
  • Aloe Vera and Vanilla production.

Other investments include;

  •   Wildlife culture production for wild meat processing for local market and export to Europe.
  •   Animal production for meat processing and hides
  •   Mining of Limestone for cement manufacturing, Iron ore, Titanium in Kwale, Celica for sheet glass and Gemstones in Taveta
  • Fish Processing Plants and other Sea food for export
  •   Fertilizer production
  •   Tana Delta Integrated sugar project
  •   Tana Delta Rice expansion project involves extension of 2000 Ha to 4000 Ha of land for Rice growing. It is estimated to cost USD 89.6 million.
  •   Integrated Mara Tourism project
  • Nandi forest Multi-Purpose dam
  • Northern Kenya Integrated Abattoir Development project which is expected to process 10 tonnes of meet per day while improving livestock marketing structures in the region.
  • Wajir Integrated Development project with potential of generating 40 Mw of electric power, irrigation 2,000 Ha of land for  agricultural use, supply water for domestic use and improve sewerage in the town.
  • Sabaki River Integrated Development project to irrigate 6,000 ha of land for crop, livestock production and 100,000 trees planted as catchment conservation and bio-fuel
  • Mwache dam Multipurpose Development project: the project will provide 1.536 million people and 20,000 livestock with clean water; generate 34 MW of power for sale to KPLC. 5,236 ha of land to put under irrigation, 3 million trees planted for catchment conservation and 100,000 employment opportunities to be created.
  •   Arror Integrated Development project. The project will generate 70Mw of power, irrigate 6000 Ha of land for improved food security, and conserve 18,500 Ha of land.
  •   Wei Wei Integrated Development project (Phase III)
  • Lower Ewaso Ng’iro Integrated Development project • Chalbi Desert Integrated Development Programme in Marsabit. The investment opportunity in the project includes generation of 100Mw of wind power and salt processing. The project will establish 20 water schemes and conserve fragile environment.
  • Northern Kenya Cement Industry
  • Lake Challa Integrated water Resource project: 300 ha of land to be put under intensive irrigation and to provide water supply to 20,000 households.
  •   Turkwell Multipurpose (Downstream Riverine Conservation and irrigation) project with the aim of irrigating land for food production and promote peaceful coexistence of those living around.

Lake Basin Development Authority has six major rivers flowing into Lake Victoria from the highlands in the Rift valley; these are Sio, Yala, Nyando, Sondu Miriu and Kuja. The river have immense potential for hydropower and irrigation development e.g Sondu Miriu Multipurpose Development Projects will generate 94.6 MW, Kuja River Multipurpose Development Projects will generate between 10 to 18 MW, Nandi Multipurpose Development Projects will generate 50MW of HEP, Moi’s (Hemsted) Bridge Multipurpose Development Projects(Nzoia River) will generate 60 MW of HEP.
Other opportunities in LBDA are Kibos Rice Mills complex; Water Bottling plants; Instant Coffee factory (Robusta); Tannery; Fruit canning and vegetable dehydration project; Sugarcane production and processing industries; Granite stone production; Cement production; Utilization of clay resources e.g. clay drainage pipes, pottery, clay roofing tiles; Establishment of a cruise ship on Lake Victoria.



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