Proposed High Grand Falls Multipurpose Dam, Kenya


The Kenyan government approved construction of High Grand Falls Dam in Mwingi aimed at promoting irrigation and supply clean water in Ukambani and Tana River regions.

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Basic Data
NameProposed High Grand Falls Multipurpose Dam, Kenya
ProvinceEastern Kenya
SiteMwingi North Constituency
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Interbasin water transfers/transboundary water conflicts
Specific Commodities
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIn August 2009, The Kenyan government approved construction of High Grand Falls Dam, Mwingi aimed at promoting irrigation and supply clean water in Ukambani and Tana River regions.

The dam is part of the government’s ambitious 1,000 dams project aimed to revolutionize irrigation- based agriculture to help eradicate hunger in the country.

The proposed165km2 dam will also be used to generate between 500MW and 700MW of electricity.

Its construction will be funded through a public private partnership with firms from the People’s Republic of China and the Export-Import Bank of China providing the finances.

Project Area (in hectares)16500
Level of Investment (in USD)1,755,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population1,000,000-1,500,000
Start Date2009
Relevant government actorsTARDA, KWTA ( Kenya Water Towers Agency) Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban, Ministry of Planning and Devolution, Ministry of Planning and Devolution
International and Financial Institutions (IUCN)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNature Kenya, A Rocha Kenya, IUCN
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNegotiated alternative solution
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The project could improve livelihoods of communities in Mwingi and Tana Delta through increased agriculture supported by irrigation; The project could negatively impact on the biodiversity in Tana Delta through reduced water down stream and this could also affect the livelihoods of over one million farmers, fishermen and pastoralists who depend on the Delta for their source of livelihoods.
Sources and Materials

Water Act


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Kenya Vision 2030 Plan

Meta Information
ContributorSerah Munguti
Last update08/04/2014