COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION

Irrigation project to boost food yields in Busia - official

Contract was signed on June 12, 2018 and scheme is expected to be completed by June 2021

In Summary

• Scheme sits on 4,043 and is divided into 14 blocks across Busia and Siaya.

• But project is being undermined by illegal sand miners, official says.

National Irrigation Board of directors tour Lower Nzoia and Bunyala Irrigation Scheme /MAURICE ALAL
National Irrigation Board of directors tour Lower Nzoia and Bunyala Irrigation Scheme /MAURICE ALAL

Busia county plans to transition from subsistence farming to intensive commercial production upon completion of the lower Nzoia irrigation project.

Phase one of the project covering Busia and Siaya counties is under way at a cost of Sh3.8 billion.

It consists of construction of a headwork to regulate the flow of water, 31km of main canal, 30km of secondary canal, 51km of tertiary canals, 302km of field canals and 83km of a service road.

 

The irrigation scheme sits on 4,043 acres and is divided into 14 blocks across the two counties. At least 2,100 households will work on the scheme when it is completed.

The contract was signed on June 12, 2018 and is expected to be completed by June 2021.

The coordination committee however said the project is being undermined by illegal sand miners who collect sand from the dykes constructed to prevent flooding.

Acting Environment, Irrigation and Water Resources chief officer Moses Weunda said the county government will deploy environment officers to tackle illegal sand mining.

“We are in the process of gazetting county environment officers from within the county enforcement unit to help tackle the issue of illegal sand harvesting,” he said.

The committee also called on the National Land Commission to speed up compensation of landowners in the project area.

Landowners have barred the contractor from undertaking work on their land until they are compensated.