Farmers drawn from several villages in Kangema Sub County of Murang’a are expected to embark in irrigation farming once an earmarked water project is complete.
Water engineers have started surveying and designing the project that targets to benefit more than 500 households.
On Tuesday the engineers commenced a survey especially on where to put up water intake along Mathioya River.
With the irrigation project, farmers who for a long time have relied on tea farming will have an option to diversify to other crops like horticulture once the project is completed.
Engineer Samuel Gichane who led a team of surveyors and engineers from the Ministry of water said the project will take at most one year to be completed.
He noted that the Ministry of water through the intervention of Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu will fund the project which will support irrigation farming in seven villages in Kangema Sub County.
The earmarked areas to benefit from the irrigation scheme include; Rwathia, Kanyenyaini, Ngoe-ini, Kibutha, Gatang’ara, Githiga and Gitugu.
Kanyenyaini ward MCA Mr. Jeremiah Kongo lauded the project saying it will help farmers to venture in other crops rather than rely only on tea. “Tea earnings have dwindled in recent years and now that there is water for irrigation, farmers will start growing other crops like vegetables and bananas,” observed Kongo.
He appreciated the move by the ministry of water and irrigation to fund the project which will be under management of Kanyenyaini Community water project.
Kongo observed that members of the local community have agreed to offer their land for laying pipes and to provide labour to actualize the project.
“The project will fully be owned by the community as they have agreed to provide labour and give land to lay water pipes,” added the Ward Rep.
The coordinator of Kanyenyaini community water project Samuel Mwangi, said the water will enable farmers to increase income as they will grow fast maturing crops.
“Majority of farmers in Kangema rely on tea which in the recent past has been affected by fluctuation of international prices. This project will enable our members to grow crops for commercial purposes all year round and this will improve their livelihoods,” he added.
Other areas of Murang’a where the ministry of water is implementing irrigation projects include Ithang’a in Gatanga Sub County, Maragua and in parts of Kiharu Sub County.
By Bernard Munyao