• National Irrigation Authority Board chairman Gilbert Maluki said the project will be funded by the Korean government as a strategy of preparing for the anticipated rains.
• He said the government was planning to do 10,000 other small dams across the country to enable Kenyans produce food through irrigation.
The government is in the process of rehabilitating 2,000 colonial-era dams and 5,000 boreholes across the country, National Irrigation Authority Board chairman Gilbert Maluki has said.
Maluki said the project will be funded by the Korean government as one of the strategies of preparing for the anticipated El Nino rains.
He said tenders for the projects have been done through the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.
“We will be refurbishing the facilities, so we are prepared as a country to address issues of food security,” Maluki said.
He addressed the press during the Kyumbi Dam expansion’s ground breaking and tree planting exercise at Kyumbi in Mavoko, Machakos County on Saturday.
He was accompanied by Devolution PS Teresia Mbaika, Mwala MP Vincent Musyoka and National Industrial Training Authority chairman Aden Noor Ali among others.
“We want to expand this Kyumbi dam so that it be able to help the public especially for food production. We have a budget of around 22 to Sh25 million for this project,” Maluki said.
He said the government had allocated Sh20 million to Wathia and another Sh20 million to Sinai dams both located in Kinanie ward, Mavoko Sub-County to enable residents access water for irrigation to produce food.
He said the government was planning to do 10,000 other small dams across the country to enable Kenyans produce food through irrigation.
Additionally, Maluki said NIA will through Public Private Partnership, construct 17 mega dams across the country.
He cited High Grand Falls Dam saying it will address the water problem issues in Kitui, Garissa and Tharaka Nithi counties.
Musyoka, who doubles as the UDA secretary general, said the Kenya Kwanza government was committed to delivering their campaign promises to Kenyans.
“The Kenya Kwanza administration especially President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua made certain promises during campaigns. The promises included food security, the organization that we have here today,” Musyoka said.
“Today is one of those days that we celebrate because one of the promises made by this administration are trickling down to the public. Once we expand this dam, it will not only help in micro form of irrigation, but also become source of water to this market that is highly affected by lack of water,” he added.
The dam once expanded will hold 45,000 cubic metres of water enough to serve 3,000 households directly and around 18,000 indirectly.
The leaders also led the public in planting trees along the dam before donating 2,000 grafted hass avocado seedlings to residents for planting in their farms.
“Kamba’s problem is water, that narrative can change if we accelerate this programme,” Musyoka said.
PS Mbaika said the government was committed to ensuring that the water issue is addressed in the country.
“Mine is to encourage the county governments to prepare for El Nino which is about to come to ensure our people will be safe,” she said.
The PS said county governments should ensure residents do what they are supposed to do when the heavy rains come.
“Counties need to work with the national government like it is happening. Since this administration came into place, we haven’t encountered any challenge between the two levels of government,” Mbaika said.
She said it was the President’s commitment to work with the counties to ensure that the promises his administration made to Kenyans are delivered.