The Mwea Irrigation Development Project (MIDP) is being implemented in Mwea Irrigation Scheme (MIS), in Kirinyaga County. The gazzetted area is 30,350 acres of land where 26,00acres are under paddy rice production. Objective of the project is to increase rice production in MIS by rational water use through construction of the Thiba dam and rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage facilities and improvement of the schemes’ operations and management thereby contributing to expansion of irrigation area, improvement in livelihood of farmers in MIS and the food self-sufficiency in Kenya.
MIS is the largest irrigation scheme in Kenya with a history of about 60 years. The scheme has led to growth of the rice sector in Kenya with supply of over 60% of domestic rice coming from Mwea. In view of food security and poverty reduction strategy, the project has been positioned as a national flagship project because of its huge contribution to the country’s overall rice production.
The project consists of two packages:
Package I: Appurtenant facilities of the Thiba Dam which includes:
- The Spillway,
- The Sand trap dam,
- Intake structure,
- River diversion,
- The dam.
- Dam control office.
Package II: Irrigation and Drainage facilities which includes:
- Rehabilitation of Canal I & II,
- Improvement of Nderwa North and Marura areas,
- Development of Link canal III,
- Mutithi East Irrigation Canal and Roads, including Curuki area, Kiruara East Drainage Canal.
- Roads and Bridge across the Thiba River.
- Connecting roads.
The progress of the work as at January 2021 was 46%. The works done included: River diversion and coffer dam, spillway excavation and steel works, completion of contractor’s temporary facilities and site laboratory, completion of Engineer’s office and house, maintenance of temporal roads, bridge and quarry development.
Construction works for Package II contract was signed between the National Irrigation Authority (The Employer) and Sogea Satom (Contractor) on 26th August 2016 for a contract period of 38.5 months. The consultant issued ‘notice to commence’ to the contractor on 9th June 2017. The Contract was however terminated by the employer due to failure of the Contractor to come to an agreement on how they will pay their outstanding IPCs within the contract period. In addition to this, the Contractor’s pace of work was not timely as stipulated in the contract and to the satisfaction of the Employer. The contract was terminated on February 20th 2020, after the contractor had achieved a progress rate of 43.75% as at that time. Procurement of the new contractor is almost complete