Huge irrigation project at Tseikuru gets Sh1.4 billion
A massive irrigation project in Tseikuru, Kitui has received a boost of Sh1.4 billion. A government official at the weekend said the funds will help to complete the 5,000-acre Wikithuki irrigation Scheme. Cooperative Development secretary Daniel Maanzo said the money will be enough to start the project. He however complained that the work at the Wikithuki site was moving at a snail's pace. He said the irrigation scheme will end overreliance on famine relief food by residents in Kitui.
The Wikithuki site, in Mwingi North, was identified by MP and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. Maanzo was speaking at Wikithuki on Saturday when he inspected the progress of bush clearing and the trenching for canal laying. He further addressed members of the Wikithuki Farmers’ Cooperative Society who will run the irrigation project.
He however said the work at the site — being undertaken by the National Irrigation Board — was moving at a slow pace. “That the workers abandon the project when the earthmover’s fan belt snaps or when a tyre wears out is not convincing. I think it is an excuse not to have this project started,” he said. He was reacting to complaints by the Mwingi County Council vice chairman Musyoka Musumali who said he suspected sabotage as the works moved at a slow pace. “It is a project that is very important to the government. By now, the crops should be growing here as we had expected the President to come and commission this project. NIB should expedite the works for the irrigation project to kick off sooner than later,” Maanzo told the Wikithiki members.