Home > Agriculture > Canals to be completed in 2 months, PS Irrigation

Canals to be completed in 2 months, PS Irrigation

State Department of Irrigation Principal Secretary (PS) Elphantus Kimotho has assured Mwea rice farmers that all the water canals would be completed within two months.

The 2.4km canals that stalled at 1.5km have hindered distribution of water into the rice field.

Speaking during a familiarization tour at Kirinyaga County from the Thiba Dam to Mwea Irrigation Scheme, the PS said that with completion of canals, over 5,600 farmers would benefit from uninterrupted water supply.

He commended the project’s execution and the scheme mechanization through the use of rice combine harvesters, which minimized cost of production and post-harvest losses.

The PS said completion of the canals will ensure the additional area is put under irrigation for enhanced food production of rice in line with the Government’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda.

In order to avoid seepage and water loss, he urged the contractors to speed up the implementation of Mwea Irrigation Development Project and complete it within the expected timelines.

“We expect more farmers to get water after the completion of canals. Currently, we are at 5600 and a few complaints about the canal but in two months the 2.4 km will be done. With the mechanization of harvesting of rice, the cost of production will reduce by 50 percent as well as post-harvest losses,” the PS said.

Officials from National Irrigation Authority join the PS Irrigation in inspection of ongoing canal construction.

National Irrigation Authority (NIA) chairperson Eng. Gilbert Maluki said the Authority is committed to ensuring that all farmers get water for irrigation efficiently. He further affirmed that financial constraints led to delay of canals but in three months, all farmers will have water.

He also gave assurance of the local market as they engage with Kenya National Trading Company (KNTC), Ministry of Education for school feeding programme, Ministry of Defense and Interior so that they supply the Mwea rice to their department.

“Our mandate is to ensure that water is available to farmers. We are in talks with KNTC as our major off-taker, Education through a school feeding programme, police training in Kiganjo and Kenya Defense Forces,” Maluki said.

Local leaders who accompanied the PS led by Senator Kamau Murango and County MP Jane Njeri requested more subsidies in all farm inputs as well as provision of clean water to the farmers.


Kirinyaga County Assembly Deputy Speaker Jinaro Jamumo said they have set aside  Shs.150 million for canal construction and within a short period, the complaints about construction would be a thing of the past.

He added that the county government would work closely with the NIA to ensure smooth management of farmers’ affairs.

“As County Assembly, during this financial year, we have set Sh150 million out of Sh200 million for the canals. We shall add the rest in due time. We as local leaders will support the NIA for the sake of our farmers,” he said

Chairperson of Mwea Rice Farmers’ Peter Chege said with constant availability of water, they were ready to do three seasons annually and called upon the government to support the farmers.

By Mutai Kipngetich

Leave a Reply