Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA)

The Tana and Athi River Basins are one of the country’s most unique natural resources. The Basin has exceptional resource values that include; water, arable land, forests, wildlife, minerals among other natural resources. This presents an excellent opportunity for the country to advance socio-economic development by utilizing the natural resources within the river basins. In order to optimize the utilization, there was need to sustainably plan and develop the resources using an integrated approach. The Government therefore, in the mid 1970’s adopted a river-based development approach modeled along the successful story of Tennessee Valley Authority in the United States.

In 1974, the Tana River Development Authority (TRDA) was established by an Act of Parliament CAP 443 of the Laws of Kenya. The functions and responsibilities of the Authority encompassed integrated planning and coordination of all development projects within the Tana River Basin and specifically to implement any projects for the purpose of utilization and protection of water and soils of the area. In 1981, this mandate was expanded to include the Athi River Basin. This therefore widened the scope to Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA) moving away from the one dimensional goal approach of “power only development” advocated by TRDA and embraced the multipurpose reservoir development approach. Therefore, the focus of the Authority then included; Hydro-power generation, environmental protection, natural resource planning and management, economic development for rural areas to reduce regional disparities.


  1. Capacity building ; 300 community based organization in the region on Agro-forestry( Tree nursery establishment management and value addition)
  2. Tree planting and catchment regeneration; planted approximately 5 million trees within 5 years.
  3. Tree seedling; Produced 5 million assorted tree seedlings.

Our Tree nurseries are located at:

  • Masinga Tree Nursery
  • Tana Bridge Tree Nursery
  • Kiambere Tree Nursery
  • Kinangop Tree Nursery
  • Kamiti Tree Nursery
  • Wote Tree Nursery
  • Machakos Tree Nursery

Tree Nursery Coverage


  1. 102 boreholes rehabilitation, provide water for irrigation to 2 million farmers.
  2. 50 boreholes drilled to benefit 800 farmers and 3000 livestock.
  3. 30 small holders irrigation dams and 30 dams.


Tana Delta Irrigation Project

The project is located in Tana River and Lamu County with a total of 31,000 Ha. Project area is 110 km north of Malindi and lies on the left bank of the river Tana from Sailoni in the north, where the TDIP intake is constructed. The project is shared in the two counties of Tana River (26,000) and Lamu (5,000Ha):

Project Benefits:

  • Produce rice crop 2000 ha to deliver on 11000 MT of white rice
  • Create direct and indirect employment for 50,000 people
  • Stabilise the price of rice in the markets around the project area.
  • Revenue generation for the Authority.
  • Bridge the white rice supply shortfall and save the country foreign exchange.
  • Restore water supply for domestic use and livestock production to 8 villages of 1,662 households with a population of 8,600 people.
  • Restore water supply to lower Tana River village irrigation schemes.

Project Purpose: To promote national food security and enhance livelihoods for the local communities.

Technology Transfer

  1. Trained 40 community based organization on modern bee-keeping.
  2. Introduction of new technology e.g Bee venom extraction.
  3. Trained 400 farmers on livestock improvement and production.
  4. 500 acres demo plot on Pasture production on climate resilient plant


Tarda Information Resource Center is a unit under the Department of Resource Planning and Development. Information Resource Management is an emerging trend with emphasis on Data as a component among important assets within an institution. Data as a Resource includes Data generation, Storage Records, Files (computer and manual), data access/Retrievals, Maps, systems.

The centre in the Authority is the custodian of all data generation of long term value and its management which include

  • Promote culture and practice of knowledge management
  • Strengthen knowledge management networks
  • Establish mechanisms to harvest, store, share, and apply knowledge
  • Organize Knowledge resources
  • Promote Knowledge Sharing

Some of the studies carried out are:

  1. Tana Delta Irrigation Project
  2. Tana Delta Integrated Sugar Project
  3. Thanantu Valley Irrigation Project
  4. Rubingazi Irrigation Project
  5. Masinga Dam and Masinga Irrigation Project
  6. Kiambere Dama and Kiambere Irrigation Scheme


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