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Sh5b irrigation project renews farmers’ hopes :: Kenya

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The Sh5 billion Lower Nzoia Irrigation Development Project and improvement of flood mitigation structures has started with river diversion and work on intake structure.

Addressing the press in Busia town on Wednesday, the project’s managing director, Edwin Manyonge, said it would cover Busia and Siaya counties.

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The flagship project of the Kenya Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (ASDS) and Kenya Vision 2030 is expected to contribute to food security, economic growth and enhanced climate resilience for farmers, who will be the biggest beneficiaries. It also aims at mitigating frequent flooding in the Lower Nzoia, between Rwamba and Lake Victoria, where most of the flooding problems currently occur.

“The project entails improvement of about 34km of flood mitigation dykes in the lower Nzoia River and development of infrastructure for irrigating an area estimated at 4,000 hectares,” said Manyonge.

He said the project has two components; dyke rehabilitation which will cost Sh1.4 billion and irrigation to cost Sh3.8 billion.

He said the total displacement budget amounted to Sh1.5 billion, and already the National Treasury had disbursed Sh450 million to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation for compensation of people affected by the project.

Manyonge said he had held discussions with Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’ on the progress of the project and the governor’s input on community mobilisation and sensitisation.

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“We spoke about his government’s role in facilitating the vacation and settlement of affected persons to pave way for quicker completion of the project,” he said.

The team from Lower Nzoia Project is composed of representatives from the National Irrigation Board and the Implementation Support Consulting Team.

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