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September 21, 2018

State builds Sh6.3 billion irrigation project in Siaya and Busia counties

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

The government is constructing a multibillion-shilling Lower Nzoia irrigation project in line with the food security component of the Big Four agenda.

The Sh6.3 billion project cuts across Siaya and Busia counties. It invloves improvement of flood mitigation structures, which will directly benefit 25,000 people.

 The project is funded by International Development Association - World Bank and the German government at the cost of Sh3.9 billion and Sh1.4 billion respectively.

The Kenyan government will spend Sh1.5 billion on compensation for those affected by the project.

 The construction of intake, water conveyance infrastructure and an infield system at Ugunja will cost Sh3.9 billion, while improvement of 28.4km of existing dykes and construction of 5.8km of new dykes on either side of River Nzoia will cost Sh1.4 billion.

National Irrigation Board general manager Gitonga Mugambi yesterday said the project is part of others the government has put in place towards achieving the 1.5 million land acreage under irrigation by 2022.

 “It will see close to 20,000 acres of land in the two counties along the lower part of lower Nzoia put under irrigation,” he said.

Mugambi said they are anticipating farmers will generate an estimated revenue of Sh4.8 billion annually with more than 70,000 people protected from floods. 

Some of the crops to be grown include fruits, vegetables and rice in rotation with soybeans and maize. Mugambi said the project will ensure high production of rice.

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