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Illegal water abstraction hindering irrigation project

The government will crack down on farmers who use river water to irrigate their farms in Kipipiri Sub-county without authority from Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA).
Nyandarua County Commissioner Mr. Boaz Cherutich has directed water inspectors from WARMA to move in fast and arrest the unfortunate situation in Kinungu River of the Aberdare ranges.
The County Commissioner said the move by the farmers to illegally divert the water from the stream could spell doom to the Sh24 million government funded project downstream and would therefore not be tolerated.
“The government will not sit back and watch a few selfish farmers who have no permits get access to the waters of Kinungu River to the detriment of the irrigation project,” he warned.
Cherutich issued the warning Saturday when he led a team of the Nyandarua County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee members on an inspection tour of development projects in Kipipiri Sub County.
The gravity sprinkler irrigation project which was commissioned two years ago has benefitted about 120 families who cultivate and sell horticultural products through irrigation.
“We produce cabbages, carrots and potatoes in this area and the irrigation has helped us to be self-sufficient in food security as we also make sales,” noted the project’s chairman Mr. Nelson Kangare who thanked the National Irrigation Board for spearheading the project.
Cherutich urged the farmers to form groups on cooperative basis to benefit from economies of scale while sourcing markets and also wipe out brokers.
Among government sponsored projects inspected included Sh24 million Mangarach Water dam, construction of classes at Magomano Primary School and Malewa Secondary School.
The program is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda aimed at propelling Kenya into a middle-level economic country.

By Charles Njoroge

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