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State to spend over Sh400 million to construct canals in Mwea irrigation scheme

The National Government has injected over Sh400 million towards constructions of canals in Mwea, Kirinyaga County.

Speaking during commissioning of Sh7.8 billion Thiba Dam, President William Ruto said they have joined hands with the county government to ensure the expanded scheme gets enough water. He said the county government will give additional Sh200 million towards the project.

The President also said the money will be used in removal of silt in canals.

“We have been told about canals, we have agreed with county government, through their county assembly to set aside Sh200 million and National Government will add Sh400 million toward construction of canals so that all parts of the irrigation scheme gets enough water,” President Ruto said.

“As soon as we pass the supplementary budget, the fund will be available and will all be used to remove siltation,” the President said.

He further assured the farmers that their market will be expanded in such a way that they both benefit with their customers, who are the consumers.

“We will ensure the farmers will get the market. I have instructed the concerned ministry that we want a fair trade that balances the interests of consumers and farmers,” he added.

During the event, a rice farmer John Muya, on behalf of the farmers, told the President that they are experiencing water shortages despite the completion of the dam. He also noted that the competition from cheap imported rice has been a challenge.

“We have been having water shortage and we hope Thiba Dam will solve the problem by releasing water regularly,” Muya expressed.

The area senator, James Murango said the amount of money per acre charged on farmers for use of water is too high and because of the drought being witnessed, they should be given a grace period of two years. He further urged the state to purchase rice from Mwea Stores.

“The farmers are overcharged to use water. It costs even over Sh5000 per acre. Because of prevailing drought in the country, we request that the farmers be given free water for two years to recover economically and sustain the sector,” Murango said.

Thiba was launched in 2018 by Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and was constructed in conjunction with the Japanese Government through Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA). The National Irrigation Authority was tasked to oversee the construction of the dam until completion.

By Mutai Kipngetich


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