Works at Thiba Dam resumes as government release Shs. 600 million

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Works  on Thiba Dam in Kirinyaga county has resumed after the national government released Sh.600 million.

The  money is however, just a small part of which the construction company says is not enough to complete the project.

Officials  of  the Strabag Company  on Tuesday said all the employees previously sent on leave have been recalled to work.

The Sh.20 billion Thiba Dam at completion is expected to boost rice production in the Mwea Irrigation Scheme, enabling the farmers to carry rice farming throughout the year.

“We have resumed construction work after the government availed some of the funds,” said one of Senior company Managers, James Karanja.

However, Karanja said the money was not enough and the company will be demanding some more from government.

“We expected to receive Sh.2 billion but the government gave us only Sh.600 million which is not enough to complete the project,” he about the project whose work stalled in October due to lack of funds.

President Uhuru Kenyatta while initiating the dam project had directed the project be completed within the stipulated time frame. Mwea Scheme produces 80 percent of rice consumed nationally.

Currently, Kenya produces 100,000 tonnes of rice annually which is not enough for local consumption, creating a dependence on imports to meet the deficit.

Meanwhile, the Sogea Company which has been involved in the expansion of rice canals in the scheme has resumed work.

The  work was temporality halted for non-remittance of Sh.300 million by the National government.

The  Deputy County Commissioner, Peter Nkunga  said the company has since received the money and work resumed.

He said the remittance of the money by the National government has made the work easier in that the company will now be able to undertake their work without any interference from those affected by the project.

The  Mwea Member of Parliament, Kabinga  Wathayu said he was happy with the release of the money and urged those affected by the project to cooperate with the officials of the company.

“Don’t complicate the land issues if you want the work to be completed in good time, all this project is meant to assist the rice farmers in Mwea to double their produce and reduce rice import which affects the prices of rice in our locality,” he said.

Kabinga promised to liaise with the government so that the company can be paid its due in time and avoid such incidents where they have to abandon their work for lack of money.

By  Irungu  Mwangi

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