Destruction of water pipes by a road contractor has delayed completion of a water project aimed at boosting irrigation farming in parts of Kahuro Sub county.
The contractor doing Kiria – Kagaa – Kiruri – Githambo road in Murang’a county has been accused of destroying about 250 pieces of water pipes, initially fixed to supply water to the Mirichu-Murika irrigation scheme.
The irrigation project which is funded by the national government to tune of Sh253 million commenced in April 2019 and was to be completed by the end of October this year.
Subsequently, the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) which is undertaking the project has sought for extension of time till January next year, so as to give time to the road contractor to fix the destroyed pipes.
During County Development Implementation Committee (CDICC) meeting on Monday, Resident Engineer for the project Eng. Risper Okumbe observed that SSMENTA Company which is doing the road has so far repaired 50 pieces of pipes which were salvaged from the damaged section.
She said the contractor is expected to purchase and fix another 200 pipes so as to enable completion of the irrigation project, which residents were eagerly waiting for to boost their farming activities.
Chairman of the CDICC who is also the county commissioner Mohammed Barre directed Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) to follow up and ensure the contractor replaces the damaged pipes without further delay.
Deputy Regional Director of KeRRA Eng. Joseph Wanjohi promised to ensure the contractor replaces the pipes within the next one month.
“The road contractor is aware of the damage and we will make follow up and ensure the destroyed pipes are purchased and fixed in time,” added Wanjohi.
He said area residents would embark on commercial farming once the irrigation water is availed to them. The idea to come up with the project was first floated by the residents, before the government took over the initiative and funded it in an effort to boost food security in the area.
The project will cover about 1,000 acres of land and will benefit close to 2,000 homesteads drawn from Mirichu and Murika locations within Kahuro sub county.
By Bernard Munyao