Gitaru Dam

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Gitaru Dam
Gitaru Dam is located in Kenya
Gitaru Dam
Location of Gitaru Dam
Country Kenya
Location Embu County/Machakos County, Eastern Province
Coordinates 0°47′42.61″S 37°44′59.04″E / 0.7951694°S 37.7497333°E / -0.7951694; 37.7497333Coordinates: 0°47′42.61″S 37°44′59.04″E / 0.7951694°S 37.7497333°E / -0.7951694; 37.7497333
Purpose Power
Status Operational
Construction began 1975
Opening date 1978; 37 years ago (1978)
Owner(s) Kenya Electricity Generating Company
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Embankment
Impounds Tana River
Height 30 m (98 ft)
Length 580 m (1,900 ft)
Spillway capacity 4,500 m3/s (160,000 cu ft/s)
Total capacity 16,000,000 m3 (13,000 acre·ft)
Normal elevation 924 m (3,031 ft)
Power station
Name Gitaru Power Station
Operator(s) Kenya Electricity Generating Company
Commission date 1999
Type Run-of-the-river
Hydraulic head 136 m (446 ft)
Turbines 2 x 72 MW, 1 x 81 MW Francis-type
Installed capacity 225 MW (302,000 hp)

The Gitaru Dam is a rock and earth-filled embankment dam on the Tana River in Kenya. It straddles the border of Embu and Machakos Counties in Eastern Province. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power generation and it supports a 225 MW power station. Construction on the dam began in 1975 and it was completed in 1978. The power station was not commissioned until 1999. US$63 million in funding for the project was provided by the World Bank. The power station is operated by Kenya Electricity Generating Company and is part of the Seven Forks Scheme.[1][2]

The 30 m (98 ft) tall dam withholds a 16,000,000 m3 (13,000 acre·ft) reservoir. The relatively small reservoir relies on steady releases from the Masinga and Kamburu Dams upstream. The run-of-the-river power station is located underground near the left abutment. It contains two 72 MW and one 81 MW Francis turbine-generators. Water released from the power station is returned to the Tana at the Kindaruma Reservoir via a 4.7 km (2.9 mi) long tailrace tunnel. The difference in elevation between the reservoir and power station affords a net hydraulic head of 136 m (446 ft).[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gitaru Hydro Power Plant
  2. ^ "Kenya - Gitaru Hydroelectric Project (English)". World Bank. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Kenya - Appraisal of the Gitaru Hydroelectric Project" (PDF). World Bank. 23 May 1975. pp. Annex 5. Retrieved 21 February 2015.