The African Development Bank has approved two loans worth €235 million (Sh27.4 billion) for the completion of construction work on Thwake dam on Thwake River in southern Kenya.

The dam is part of a strategic water supply project for the larger semi-arid area of Makueni County and surrounding regions, including the new technology city of Konza.

The package comprises of €192.5 million from AFDB and €43 million from the Africa Growing Together Fund.

This additional support follows a €76 million loan granted by the Bank in 2013 to start building the dam as part of the Thwake Multi-Purpose Development Programme, which aims to provide drinking water, hydroelectric energy and irrigation.

Completion of the 80.5 m high multi-purpose dam will enable the storage of 681 million m3 of water, of which 625 million m3 will be used for electricity production and downstream irrigation of agricultural land; 22 million m3 for upstream irrigation and 34 million for human use.

Construction in the initial phase of the project should be completed in December 2022.

This will be followed by three further phases which include the construction of hydraulic plants to treat up to 34,600 m3 of water for household use for 674,700 rural inhabitants and up to 117,200 m3 for 640,000 residents in the technology city of Konza.

The second phase will include hydroelectric energy production while the third phase will include 40,000 ha of irrigation.