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Sh53 million water project to boost irrigation farming in Gatanga

The national government has commenced implementation of a Sh53 million project that will provide more than 2, 000 households drawn from Gatanga Sub county with water for irrigation farming.

The project’s ground breaking ceremony was done at Ngerechi area Tuesday and is earmarked to benefit families in Wanduhi, Ndakaini and Kimandi locations.

It is expected to be completed in six months and is being implemented by National Irrigation Authority (NIA).

Gatanga MP Joseph Nduati speaking during the ground breaking ceremony lauded the irrigation project saying farmers will diversify their farming and grow fast maturing a variety of crops.

Water for irrigation will be drawn from river Kiama at Ngerechi area at the slopes of Aberdare ranges then be channeled to homes.

“A 30-kilometre pipeline will be laid from the sources to homes at the identified villages so as to help farmers embark in growing of crops,” said Nduati.

Majority of farmers in the area rely on tea farming and with the availability of water for irrigation, they will be able to grow fast maturing horticultural crops, thus boosting income generation.

Local residents have appreciated the government saying the project will help many of them to earn income from agricultural activities.

With dwindling of tea earnings, the farmers observed that they will be in a position to grow crops which will give them money within a short period of time.

Residents of Gatanga sub county, for many years have been lamenting for being neglected in terms of provision of water, more so considering the biggest source of water for Nairobi and its environs is in the sub county.

Ndakaini dam supplies about 85 percent of water to Nairobi and other neighbouring regions with locals complaining that despite the dam being constructed in their area they do have tap water at their homes.

Nduati observed that the irrigation project is one of the many others that the government is implementing in the constituency.

In Kiarutara, the government has laid pipes worth Sh10 million for another water project and that similar projects for Mbugiti and Rakemo were ongoing.

The irrigation project’s chairperson Elias Mwaniki said after many years of suffering, they formed a group to champion water projects from the government.

“For a long time, we have been knocking in many offices seeking help and now we thank God that our plight has been addressed through this project among others that will be implemented in different areas of the sub county,” he added.

With availability of the water, Mwaniki said they will now be able to engage in commercial farming and improve their living standards.

By Bernard Munyao

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