Kirinyaga County Government in collaboration with the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) has started the rehabilitation of Mwea Irrigation Scheme roads targeting to cover 120 kilometers in one month.
In an event held at NIA offices in Mwea, the County Chief Officer for Roads, Transport and Public Works John Makumi, who represented Governor Anne Waiguru, said that the roads programme was aimed at easing the farmers’ burden of transporting their produce to the markets.
He said that the county government had handed over seven 20 ton trucks, two motor graders, two rollers, two excavators and a water bowser to NIA which would oversee the implementation of the project within the scheme. He said that the County Government was ready to give more equipment should the need arise.
The Mwea Irrigation Scheme Manager Innocent Ariemba thanked the county government for the partnership.
He said that while the County Government had given out the machinery, NIA would cater for fuel and oversee the work to ensure it is done within the stipulated standards and time.
The Member of County Assembly for Tebere Gudson Muchina lauded the partnership and said that the after NIA finishes the first phase of the programme, the County Government would fund the subsequent phase that would cover the remaining roads.
“The project is very helpful to farmers since as much as NIA has distributed water throughout the scheme and offered enough extension services, the roads within the schemes had remained a major challenge contributing to increased cost of rice production,” said the MCA.
The chairman of Mwea Water Users Association Morris Mutugi said that the farmers were happy that the County Government and NIA had come to their rescue. He said that the programme would ensure that the works were spread in all the wards across the scheme.
“This is a new beginning for Mwea rice farmers who have been incurring a lot of money on transporting rice from the farms to the mills,” he said, adding that transporting one sack of rice has been costing farmers Sh300 but when the roads are improved, it will only cost Sh100 thereby reducing the cost of production.
Rehabilitation of roads within the rice scheme is part of a programme by the county government to murram six kilometers of roads per ward per week on a rotational basis.
The programme was developed by a multi-sectoral committee formed between the county executive and the County Assembly to accelerate the improvement of rural access roads across the county.
By Irungu Mwangi