About 3, 000 farmers from Kigumo constituency in Murang’a are set to benefit with a Sh 280 million irrigation project.
Water Principal Secretary Irungu Wairagu on Thursday commissioned the project which is expected to be completed by the end of the current financial year.
The project dubbed Mathareini- Ndonga Irrigation scheme, once completed is expected to support horticulture and vegetables farming in the parts of the constituency which currently relies on rain-fed farming.
Wairagu noted that once completed, the project will directly provide employment to about 3, 000 local residents and more than 15, 000 indirect jobs.
He expressed confidence that the project which will be implemented by the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) will be completed in the scheduled time saying funds are already set to fund the project.
“The irrigation project will cover more than 700 acres and will support horticulture and vegetable farming thus promoting food security and providing employment to thousands of locals,” added the PS.
Speaking when he launched various water projects in the constituency, Wairagu added that already two irrigation projects have been completed in Murang’a County and farmers are already doing irrigation farming.
“In the past few weeks, the Mirichu-Murika project in Kiharu and Nyanjegi irrigation project in Mathioya were completed and farmers are now watering their crops,” he added.
The government, he said, is committed to complete all ongoing water projects including those providing domestic water and those for irrigations by mid next year.
“The ministry is currently doing many water projects in various parts of the country and we want by mid next year, most of the projects to be completed.
Here in Murang’a we will also commission another irrigation project in Kanyenyaini, Kangema constituency,” said the PS.
Meanwhile, Wairagu said water coverage in the country now stands at 75 percent saying they are targeting to reach more than 80 percent by next year.
“Some counties have more water coverage but efforts are directed to increase water connections to counties which are left behind. Increase of water coverage will also lead to improvement of sanitation which currently stands at less than 25 percent,” said the PS.
During the tour, Wairagu who was accompanied by Kigumo MP Ruth Mwaniki launched three boreholes among other water projects.
Mwaniki on her part lauded the National government for trying to elevate challenges of water shortage among the local residents.
She said the irrigation projects will boost food security as well as help thousands of young people get employed in the agricultural sector.
“People of Kigumo are a happy lot after several water projects have been implemented by the government. Domestic water connection to local homesteads have increased by a big percentage in the recent past,” she added.
By Bernard Munyao