The National Government has set aside Sh1 billion to implement irrigation projects in Murang’a County this financial year to boost food production, Water Principal Secretary Mr. Joseph Irungu has said.
Irungu said the money will be channeled through National Irrigation Board (NIB) which will implement projects in Mirira, Gakoe, Wahundura, Mukurwe wa Nyangathaga, Muruka and Kandabibi among other targeted areas.
The PS said the government is also currently implementing various water projects worth Sh8 billion in different parts of Murang’a.
Irungu speaking when he visited various water projects being implemented by the national government in Mathioya Sub County on Thursday said once implemented, the projects will spur food production in parts of the county which receive minimal rains.
He said the ministry will also use another Sh600 million to build a dam at Maragua ridge to enhance irrigation farming in parts of lower Murang’a.
He noted by 2022, they are geared to attain universal water connections in the county and reprieve residents the hustle of fetching water for domestic use from sources far from their homes.
“We are doing various projects almost in every sub county in Murang’a and most of them are set to be completed by mid-next year. After completion the projects will ensure almost 100 percent homesteads are connected to clean water,” he added. Currently only 40 percent of homesteads within the County have access to clean water for domestic use.
Murang’a County hosts Ndakaini dam, a major reservoir of water being channeled to Nairobi and its environs.
During the visit, the PS was accompanied by area MP Peter Kimari where they commissioned construction of second phase of Gatango water project.
First phase of the project is at 85 percent completion and involves tapping water from upper part of river Mathioya and construction of water treatment plant at outskirts of Aberdare forests.
Second phase will involve piping water from Kario water storage tank to homesteads in lower parts of Mathioya and Kiharu constituencies.
Once completed the project funded at Sh. 220 million will see more than 60, 000 homesteads get water for domestic use.
During the occasion, more than 5,000 avocado seedlings procured by National Irrigation Board were distributed to farmers.
Meanwhile, avocado farming in the recent past has been benefiting many farmers in the region after they were linked to the international market.
By Bernard Munyao