Kenya and the United Kingdom agreed on November 7 to speed up the implementation of six climate-friendly projects worth 500 billion shillings ($4.1 billion) following a meeting between the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Kenyan Presiden Dr. Willian Ruto on Monday, November 7 at COP 27 summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
According to a statement released by the UK government, a total of 425 billion shillings will be used to build a mega-dam that will generate 1 gigawatt of power and provide enough water to support 400,000 hectares under irrigation agriculture.
Apart from funding the construction of Grand High Falls Dam, which is reportedly the second-largest infrastructural project to be undertaken in Kenya after the famous Standard gauge Railways (SGR), the agreement includes an additional 2.5 billion shillings will be used to develop a 35-megawatt geothermal power plant.
Some 5 billion shillings will fund the construction and development of a smart railway city in the Kenyan Capital, Nairobi.
In partnership with the Pension fund manager CPF Financial Services, the UK will commit 2 billion shillings to start a new guarantee company tasked with mobilizing 12 billion shillings new climate finance over the next three years for Kenyan infrastructure.
The mega-dam project, which will be implemented through a private-public partnership, will be the most expensive dam ever built in Kenya when complete, with the UK saying time due to its complexity.
“Led by UK engineering firm GBM, the project is envisaged to include both a power purchase agreement for clean energy and a water purchase agreement for agricultural irrigation,” the UK government stated.