The national government is finalizing on a Sh88 million Mutaro irrigation project in Ngobit ward Laikipia County, expected to benefit 1,000 farmers in the area.
The 8.1 kilometers canal project is being implemented by the national government through the National Irrigation Board (NIB).
The County NIB officer Joseph Muchina, told the County Implementation Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) , the funds availed by the national government were meant for excavation and lining of the canal and to install control gates.
“The area to be irrigated is 1,000 acres, meaning each farmer will irrigate one acre of land,” Muchina told the CDICC members lead by Laikipia County Commissioner Daniel Nyameti during a visit of the project on Friday.
The NIB officer said that works on the canal commenced in June, 2019 and are currently at 98 percent to completion.
The 1,000 farmers have already started benefiting from the canal which gets its water from Ngobit River.
Muchina added that the canal was started in 1983 but it was noticed that the flow of water was not good due to siltation and the national government through NIB decided to end this problem, through putting a lining on the canal besides other upgrading works.
The County Commissioner Daniel Nyameti underscored the need for implementation of all National Government development, according to their contract’s specification, so as to benefit the targeted groups.
The Nairobi County Presidential Delivery Unit Director, Boniface Gatobu Kinoti, said there is a need to educate farmers on economical utilization of the water flowing through the canal.
The former Buuri Member of Parliament (MP), who was representing his Laikipia County counterpart Richard Tutah, said farmers can be introduced to sprinkling method which is more economical than basin irrigation which makes so much water go into waste.
He noted the government is committed on the matters of food security of its citizens and will continue supporting similar projects across the Country.
The County Commissioner Daniel Nyameti pointed out that the Laikipia West Technical Training Institute (TTI) should be salvaged for the benefit of the local youths who were the target.
The Committee felt that the he contractor awarded the tender to construct the Institute was letting the government down and agreed to terminate his contract.
The Columbia Development Limited Company was awarded the contract in 2016/ 2017 financial year, whereby the works were to be completed within 52 weeks but they came and did very little and left the site.
By Margaret Kirera