The National Irrigation Board (NIB) has been asked to take over and complete stalled irrigation projects in Siaya County to alleviate food insecurity in the region.
According to the area County Commissioner (CC), Michael Ole Tialal, Siaya County has the potential to produce its own food if the stalled irrigation projects are revived and completed.
Speaking during the visit by Presidential Delivery Unit team to the irrigation projects in Bondo Sub County, Ole Tialal said that through the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC), they are going to recommend that the five stalled projects in Bondo be revived in the next financial year.
“There are projects which were initiated using government funds and it will be unfair to let the projects die like that. We must see that they are revived on time so that they can benefit the people,”Ole Tialal said.
He also pointed out that the focus is on the entire County and not only Bondo Sub County adding that his team intends to not only revive stalled projects but also revamp the existing ones to improve food security.
“There are similar irrigation projects in other parts of the county. We are taking a look at them and will recommend that they are either revived or if functional enhanced to increase their output,” The CC said.
Ole Tialal who was accompanied by the area Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Tom Macheneri said the irrigation projects has the potential of transforming Siaya county from currently a net importer to net exporter of food if properly managed.
The Bondo MP, Dr. Gideon Ochanda who hosted the delegation said that the five irrigation projects in the sub county were initiated using the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) between 2013 and 2014.
Ochanda stated that four of the projects have since stalled at various levels after they were left uncompleted following the changes in the laws on the use of CDF money.
He pointed out currently only Gunga-Sare irrigation project is complete after NIB funded the 90 acre projects to a tune of Sh.16 million.
The legislator further disclosed that if the projects are completed, approximately 1,300 acres would be under irrigation.
“With 1,300 acres of land under food production, food security which is one of the pillars of the current regime can be achieved here, “ Ochanda stated.
By Brian Ondeng’