African Development Bank and Government of Kenya
Kenya Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation
Makueni County, Kenya
The Thwake multipurpose water development program is a priority project in the Government of Kenya’s Vision 2030. It has been labelled one of the country’s most ambitious water development projects, set to transform the semi-arid lower Eastern region of the country.
The staged program is set to be implemented in four phases. The first phase involves the construction of an 80.5m high multi-purpose dam with a storage capacity of 688 million cubic meters and associated preliminary works in preparation for the remaining phases. The new dam reservoir will include a 20MW hydropower facility and provide enhanced water supply and irrigation that will impact approximately 1.3 million people.
SMEC is currently leading design and engineering of the dam, spillway, and powerhouse, currently under construction. SMEC engineers are also overseeing investigations to develop designs for new water treatment facilities and sanitation infrastructure for the later phases.
Earlier in the year the year a section of Athi River was diverted into two giant tunnels to enable excavation works for the rock field dam wall (87m) and installation of the spillways for excess water flow.
The Tbilisi Development Fund has engaged SMEC to develop the Dighomi floodplain rehabilitation strategy. The Dighomi Floodplain is an area of special conservation interest, which includes riparian forest, protected Otter habitat and other unique flora and fauna ecosystems that have been assessed as critical by the International Finance Corporate Performance Standard.
SMEC has been contracted by Electricidade De Timor-Leste (EDTL) for the role of Project Supervision Consultants for the Power Distribution Modernisation Project in Timor-Leste. Supported by a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the project aims to assist EDTL in modernising the country’s power distribution system and strengthening institutional capacity.
Geotechnics will play a key role in helping our society achieve a safe, prosperous and sustainable future. Recent droughts have resulted in a need for more dam design and construction. Recent rainfall has resulted in extensive slop failures impacting our roads, rail and urban infrastructure. Energy transformation is driving large scale solar, wind and pumped hydro construction. These projects will all require geotechnical input to future plan for our communities.
Richard Parsons, one of SMEC’s key leaders in Social Value and Engagement is presenting on their technical paper ‘Considering Social Impact Assessment from a public interest perspective - some critical questions’ at the Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand 2023 Impact Assessment Symposium in Canberra.