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Gov’t to irrigate 1.2 million acres by 2022

The government is set to irrigate about 1.2 million acres of land countrywide by 2022.

Water Sanitation and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki noted that already 600, 000 acres across the country were under irrigation, an increase from the initial 300,000 acres.

Kariuki said that in a bid to ensure the country achieves its water sufficiency targets, the government through the Ministry of Water has embarked on reviving old water pans, construction of new dams, desilting already existing dams and drilling of boreholes.

Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki hands an avocado tree seedling to a resident of Maningi Gathiriga village in Kipipiri Constituency, Nyandarua County. Photo by Jesse Mwitwa

This, she said, will go a long way in helping improve the economic livelihood of farmers as they would not depend on rain-fed farming, which has been an impediment in achieving food security, which is one of the pillars in the government’s Big Four Agenda.

“Already, we have invested Sh1.6 billion worth of irrigation in Nyandarua County in the last two years. We have been able to connect seven out of ten people with water from the previous five out of ten people. I promise to ensure eight out of ten people are connected to water by August next year,” she said.

At the same time, the CS lashed out at leaders politicizing national government projects, while urging national government administrators to ensure that state projects are completed on time, without undue political bickering.

Speaking while commissioning Lereshwa Borehole in Nyandarua County, Kariuki also urged residents to ensure that water committees in the villages observed gender equality and also included young people.

At the same time, the CS flagged off issuance of 300, 000 avocado tree seedlings across the county.

“I want to see local farmers’ plant avocados and get an extra income. We can even export them to other countries in the near future,” she said.

Additionally, Kariuki encouraged farmers to practice agribusiness to ensure that people get an extra income that can supplement their diet and broaden income sources.

By Antony Mwangi

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