Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir and the Greater Kibwezi Irrigation Project
The Kenyan Government commissioned the Athi River Basin Pre-investment study (1981) on the Water and Land resources with the financial assistance of the European Community. The main objective of the study was to identify viable projects that could be implemented.
This was in realization that Kenya is a dry country with almost 85% of the land receiving insufficient/unreliable rainfall to support viable arable farming. Harnessing of the available water resources for irrigation as well as for other uses was thus envisaged as an important element in the Government’s strategy for agricultural development.
Among the major projects identified for development along the Athi basin is the Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir and the Greater Kibwezi Irrigation project with a potential for about 13,000Ha.
The Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir site is downstream of the confluence of the Athi and Ndaragu Rivers in Thika/Kangundo Districts, while the proposed Greater Kibwezi Irrigation project is 15Km from Kibwezi town and about 200Km downstream of the proposed Munyu reservoir. The irrigation project is in Kibwezi District, Makueni County on the Athi River bank.
The Munyu-Kibwezi Project is envisaged to comprise the following:
- A river-regulating reservoir at Munyu with a capacity of 575 million cubic metres of live storage.
- Three hydro-electric power stations with an aggregated capacity of the order of 40MW.
- A major irrigation scheme at Kibwezi covering about 13,000Ha, with two river intake structures and some 80Km of canal ranging up to 20m3/s capacity.
The benefits expected from the project upon completion will be as follows:
- Increased water supply for irrigation, domestic supply and hydropower Generation (Over 13,000Ha to be put under Irrigation and 40MW of hydropower into the national grid).
- The 13,000Ha irrigation will be able to produce a crop turnover (Production of food crops for food security and high value crops such as cotton, bananas and other horticultural crops as cash crops for poverty alleviation).
- Development of small-scale irrigation schemes along the Athi including Kanzalu and Sabaki at the lower flood plains of the river hence providing employment.
- Permit bulk supply of domestic water to parts of Machakos, Makueni and the coast region including Mombasa.
- Transfer of water to Yatta furrow for irrigation and to the seasonal Tiva River for domestic supply and livestock.
- Fisheries development in the Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir.
- Reduction of sediment loads on the Malindi beach and Marine life.
The estimated capital requirement for the construction of Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir, the associated hydropower and for developing Kibwezi Irrigation is Kshs.21 billion.
The estimated capital requirement for the construction of Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir, the associated hydropower and for developing Kibwezi Irrigation Scheme was done in 1986 amounting to Kshs. 21 billion showing an indicative economic internal rate of return of 12% by then.
It is anticipated that Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir and the Hydropower stations will be developed in phase I. The irrigation scheme at Kibwezi will be constructed later but in two stages: The first 6000ha will be developed as soon as Munyu Multipurpose Reservoir and the hydro-power stations are completed while the remaining 7,200 ha will be implemented last.
The project pre-feasibility study has been done; awaiting for feasibility study to be carried out. TARDA therefore wishes to partner with interested Investors to undertake this project.