Sandvik play part in Kenyan Rift Valley dam project
Water is the world’s most precious resource and in many parts of Africa the ability to provide clean drinking water is literally the difference between life or death for many people. In order to facilitate the provision of water for drinking and agricultural use, the Kenyan government took the step to ensure drinking water and associated requirements will be met for years to come, even in the driest of seasons.
The dam, officially opened by the Assistant Minister for Water, Mwangi Kiunjuri on 17 October, will store almost 11 billion litres of water when in full operation and will service one of the driest regions in Kenya. Rains in the Rift Valley have often proved to be unreliable.
The official opening coincided with the commissioning of a mobile crushing and screening train supplied by Sandvik Mining and Construction Tanzania. This was been supplied in conjunction with the VAS Group, Nairobi-based suppliers of specialist construction equipment. The crushing and screening plant will be used initially to produce road base for the haul roads on site, and then to provide all necessary aggregates for fill and associated construction requirements.
The train consists of a QJ240 (C-10+) jaw crusher, a QH330 (F-1080) cone crusher and a QA240 (S-4) doublescreen. As the site expands, the high output of these machines will be crucial in meeting the two million plus tons of material required for completion of the project.
In such a remote region as the Rift Valley, the ability of the Vas Group and SMC Tanzania to support the aftermarket requirements of the units was crucial in the decision to opt for Sandvik. The high production required from the crushing and screening plant means that downtime must be kept to an absolute minimum. SMC and the Vas groups’ ability to provide on-site servicing, and Sandvik-branded parts at very short notice, was paramount in choosing Sandvik machinery.
The Kenyan government is committed to reversing years of under investment in its water infrastructure. Booker Mbugua, managing director of the VAS Group, said: ‘The Chemususu Dam project is the first of many that will require Sandvik equipment. We are confident that with such machinery, supported by Sandvik’s Global Aftermarket programme, we shall see more and more Sandvik mobile crushers and screens working in similar applications.’
Tony Woolfe of SMC Tanzania, upon his return from Kenya, expressed confidence that: ‘Sandvik and the VAS Group are perfectly placed to build upon the success of what is Sandvik’s first mobile crushing and screening train in Kenya. The quality of the operating plant has impressed, and is only matched by the backup we are able to provide the machines when they are in operation. We realize that the initial sale was only the start of the relationship.’
The day of the dam’s opening concluded with a reception at the local school, during which Mr Mbugua demonstrated the commitment of contractors and suppliers to give something back to the local community. This they have done by providing buildings for a new school for the locality, which will provide education for over 200 local children.