Athi-Galana-Sabaki River

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Athi-Galana-Sabaki River system.

The Athi-Galana-Sabaki River is the second longest river in Kenya (after the Tana River). It has a total length of 390 kilometres (240 mi), and drains an area of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 sq mi).[citation needed] The river rises in the Gatamaiyo Forest as the Athi River and enters the Indian Ocean as the Galana River (also known as the Sabaki River).


The Athi River flows across the Kapote and Athi plains, through Athi River town, then takes a northeast direction where it is met by the Nairobi River. Near Thika the river forms the Fourteen Falls and turns south-south-east under the wooded slopes of the Yatta ridge, which shuts in its basin on the east. Apart from the numerous small feeders of the upper river, almost the only tributary is the Tsavo River, from the east side of Kilimanjaro, which enters at about 3° S. It then turns east, and in its lower course is known as the Sabaki (or Galana) River, which traverses the sterile quartz-land of the outer plateau. The valley is low and flat, covered with forest and scrub, containing small lakes and backwaters connected to the river during the rainy season. During the rainy season, the river rises as much as 10 metres (33 ft) in places, now strongly flowing with a turbid yellow colour; navigation is interrupted by the Lugard falls, actually a series of rapids. Flowing east, it enters the Indian Ocean 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Malindi.[1]


The river flows through the Tsavo East National Park and attracts diverse wildlife, including hippopotamus and crocodiles. Famously, in the 2009 case of Ben Nyaumbe, the region is also home to pythons. Millions of Kenyans rely on the river for drinking water and irrigation.


Thwake Dam[edit]

The Thwake Dam or Thwake Multi-purpose Water Development Program is a dam complex being built on the Athi River in Kenya.[2][3] The dam is meant to be a multipurpose dam that provides drinking water, agricultural irrigation water, hydropower, and other water supply infrastructure.[2] Water storage is 681 million cubic metres, and is meant for rural homes, Konza and other local jurisdictions.[2][3] The dam cost KSh. 82 billion and is being built by the China Gezhouba Group Company.[4] The Funding was provided by the African Development Fund.[5]


  1. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sabaki". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 958.
  2. ^ a b c Otieno, Jullias. "Uhuru: Thwake Dam construction will be complete by June next year". The Star. Retrieved 2021-07-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b "Thwake Multi-purpose Dam project timeline and all you need to know". Construction Review Online. 2021-07-13. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  4. ^ Koech, Gilbert (25 October 2020). "Nema shifts focus to Athi after Nairobi River cleaned up". The Star. Retrieved 2021-07-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Kenya - Thwake Multi-purpose Water Development Program – Phase I". Retrieved 2021-07-27.

Coordinates: 3°10′S 40°09′E / 3.167°S 40.150°E / -3.167; 40.150