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Stalled irrigation projects to be revived

The government will revive all stalled irrigation projects country- wide in order to enhance food security in the country.
To achieve the status of a food secure country, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri put inept and lazy contractors charged with working on these key infrastructure projects on notice and cautioned them against doing shoddy work.
Kiunjuri said together with officers from his Ministry and the National Irrigation Board, they will be visiting all stalled irrigation projects to kick-start their completion since some have stalled for more than 10 years.
Speaking when he commissioned phase 3 of Nyanjigi Irrigation Water Project in Kangema constituency, Murang’a county on Friday, Kiunjuri accused contractors who have been failing to complete projects during the given time of ineptitude and corruption.
He cited mismanagement of resources and massive corruption leading to stalling of the irrigation projects as a major impediment to the attainment of food security status in the country.
“If irrigation projects are completed on time as per specifications, they could greatly help boost food production and create employment”, said the CS.
“If all stalled irrigation schemes are revived, this country will make big progress in ensuring there is food security,” he further noted.
Government, he added has been channeling a lot of money to some of projects but due to corruption, the projects have stayed for long time without completion.
“Our aim is to ensure farmers don’t rely on rain alone but embrace irrigation farming which will ensure continuous production of food,” remarked the CS.
Kiunjuri also castigated the National Irrigation Board saying the firm in the past was marred in massive corruption occasioning the stalling of projects.
He observed that the management of the board has been changed and the government was expecting better performance in the near future.
In reference to Nyanjigi Irrigation water project, Kiunjuri said the project was started in 2011 and more than Sh. 168 million have been used but unfortunately the project is yet to benefit local residents.
Nyanjigi Irrigation Project is earmarked to boost horticulture farming in areas of Mundika, Njii Ithatu and Nyakaura locations.
Kiunjuri gave Sh. 126 million for the completion of the project saying by 2020, farmers will be growing various crops for commercial purposes.
He warned the contractor working on the project to hasten the work so that locals could start reaping benefits of the irrigation project.
The project will be implemented in the area not suitable for coffee and tea farming and targets to benefit 1, 000 households with approximate 6, 000 people.
Speaking during the occasion, Kangema MP Muturi Kigano lauded the government for reviving the project saying residents from the area have been neglected in terms of development.
The project, Muturi noted will help farmers from the area grow various horticultural crops and enhance improve their livelihoods.
Also in presence was Water Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu who stated that all water projects commissioned by the government within the county are almost complete.
Irungu noted once the projects are completed, water connections in the county will be above 90 percent.
“By the end of this financial year, some water projects being done by the national government in this county will be complete and go a long way in helping thousands of households,” added Irungu.
By Bernard Munyao

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