Kenya's most important hydro-electricity project, the sixty seven million pound (UK) Gitaru dam and power station,has been formally opened by Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi.
Kenya's most important hydro-electricity project, the sixty seven million pound (UK) Gitaru dam and power station,has been formally opened by Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi. Gitaru is the third, and largest, phase of the hydro-electric developments on Kenya's main river, the Tana. It's designed to make the country self-sufficient in electric power by the mid 1980's.
SYNOPSIS: Water is vitally important for a country like Kenya, whose land is eighty percent infertile, but whose growing economy demands an increase in electricity supply of eight percent a year.
The importance of the Gitaru project is that with its installed capacity of one hundred and forty-five megawatts, it can supply about sixty percent of Kenya's power needs, given a good river flow through the year. Gitaru's powerhouse is underground.
President Moi, who performed the official opening of the Gitaru project, thanked the World Bank,which had provided financial and technical assistance. The Gitaru opening was celebrated in true local style.
Construction of the Gitaru dam and power house only began in nineteen seventy-four, and is the most expensive development,at sixty-eight million pounds (UK), to have been undertaken in Kenya since independence in 1963. Situated on the Tana River, half-way between the Kindaruma and Kamburu hydro-electric projects, it consists of a rock-and-earthfill dam,which raised the river level by twenty-two metres to produce a reservoir about seven kilometres long.
Unveiling the plaque, President Moi said that the inauguration of the Gitaru station was a clear indication of accelerating economic growth for Kenya. Another even larger hydro-electric development is underway with the development of the Masinga Dam, which will create a fifty kilo-metre lake capable of holding seven months flow of the Tana river. The Masinga Dam should be completed by 1982.