Kwa Andu A Kiome Earth Dam Commissioning in Embu County: A Water Management Turning Point

The National Drought Management Authority commissioned Kwa Andu A Kiome Earth Dam in Muminji Ward, Embu County.  The 15,000 cubic metre dam will serve 200 families from six villages and around 4,000 livestock, as well as local schools, saving them the daily seven-kilometer trek to the River Thuura.

CS Hon. Rebecca Miano during the commissioning of Kwa Andu A Kiome Earth Dam in Embu County. Accompanying her was, Governor Embu County, H.E. Cecily Mbarire, PS Dr. Idris Dokota, NDMA Board Chairman, Mr. Raphael Nzomo.

Water scarcity was highlighted as the most critical issue during a Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment in Getua village, Muminji Ward. Acknowledging the urgency, the Ward Climate Change Planning Committee launched a community engagement effort that resulted in an earth dam solution.

The project is implemented by NDMA through a sub-component of the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Window (KCEP-CRAL) project in partnership with the County Government of Embu and the local community at a cost of Sh 10 million.

Hon. Rebecca Miano, Cabinet Secretary for the East African Community, the ASALS, and Regional Development, said during the project’s commissioning, “The ever-longer droughts aggravated by climate change are a threat to lives and livelihoods, and stakeholders must come up with innovative ways to mitigate the effects of such droughts.”

For the excavation works, site fencing, a water kiosk, a water trough, and sanitary facilities, the NDMA provided Sh 6,336,750. The county government handled the feasibility research, technical surveys, design, and technical supervision. The local community donated the land.

This project intends to reduce water stress, provide dependable water for agriculture, improve food security, and promote climate-resilient agricultural practises. It also aims to increase resilience to drought and climate change.

Students at Mbarwari Primary School and Mbarwari Secondary School can now attend school uninterrupted without missing class as the NDMA has provided the institution with 4 water tanks – each with 10,000 litre capacity – and installed  roof gutters to enable the school to harvest rainwater.

CS Miano also encouraged the school administration to designate a section of the school for tree planting to ensure the school contributes to the tree planting campaign.

Dr. Idris Salim Dokota, the Principal Secretary for ASALs and Regional Development, echoed Miano’s remarks and added that the community can now devote the time they gain to other, more productive activities, such as household tasks, child care, farming, and operating businesses, as the long trekking distances and waiting for long periods to fetch water have been drastically reduced.

In attendance were Embu Governor H.E Cecily Mbarire, The NDMA Board Chairman Mr. Raphael Nzomo, NDMA CEO Lt Col (Rtd) Hared Hassan and the local leaders.

“Kamumu Dam, Thuci Dam, and Thambana Dam are three large reservoirs that are set to start construction in three months and will go a long way towards addressing the county’s perennial water shortage,” added the Governor.

Other resilience building projects in the County under the KCEP-CRAL project are,

  1. Rehabilitated Utithini and Kamwea boreholes in Makima Ward and another at Karurumo Health Centre by installation of solar pumping systems, provision of water storage tanks, construction of water kiosks and livestock watering troughs.
  2. Extension of 1.6 km Rwanjeru pipeline and construction of a 100,000 litre masonry tank to support small-scale irrigation in Evurore Ward.
  3. Construction of a footbridge at Ndia ya Rwigi in Kagaari South Ward to open up the road on both sides of River Gasisiro.
  4. Other projects in the lineup include rehabilitation of Kwa Musa borehole in Evurore Ward and extension of Cieria water pipeline in Kiambere Ward, plans are also underway to rehabilitate Iviuva dam in Evurore Ward and to construct Gishera Karago footbridge in Kyeni South Ward.

People now have more options for how to spend their time than they would have had they had to go far in quest of water during the dry season due to increased year-round accessibility to water.