Today the CS Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Hon. Alice Muthoni Wahome visited Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme Rehabilitation Project. The PS State Department for Irrigation Mr Ephantus Kimotho Kimani, DCC Tana North Mr Samuel Kiragu Mwangi, Irrigation Secretary Mr Aboud Moeva and the Deputy Governor Tana River County Hon. Mahadh Ali Rhoka accompanied her. They were received by the Ag. CEO Eng. Charles Muasya and DGM Irrigation and Infrastructure Development Services (IIDS) Eng. Loise Kahiga.

The CS inspected the ongoing works and was happy with the implementation of the project. She called upon the contractor to hasten completion of the project to ensure all the targeted farmers in Bura Irrigation Scheme start utilizing the installed infrastructure for sustainable food production. This will enhance food security and support grass root farmers produce food in line with the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA)

Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme Rehabilitation Project is located in Bura Constituency in Tana River County. Its objective is to upgrade the Irrigation scheme from pump fed Irrigation system to gravity fed system and increase the volume of water abstracted. Additionally, it seeks to increase the area under irrigation from 2,500 acres to 25,000 acres

This endeavor will not only enhance food security but also increase beneficiary income and promote industrial crop cultivation through manufacturing.

The project has been financed by different agencies which include: The Government of the republic of Kenya (GOK), Kuwait Fund for International Arab Economic Development (KF),Arab Bank for Economic development in Africa (BADEA),and the OPEC fund for International Development (OFID

The project’s execution entails three phases. Phase one involves sheet piling and construction of Kora intake works. Phase two focuses on the New Main Canal and Associated Civil Works from Kora Kora to Nanighi, and phase three involves the rehabilitation and lining of the existing main canal and associated Civil works from Nanighi.

Phase one is nearly complete at 98% while phase two has achieved 50% completion. Phase three is scheduled to commence in November 2023.

After her visit to Bura Irrigation Development Project, she proceeded with the team to Galana Kulalu Food Security Project (GKFSP) to inspect the progress of works. The Kilifi County Commissioner, Josephat Biwott, NIA DGM-Corporate Services, Mr. Daniel Atula, Ag. DGM-Operations, Joel Tanui, other officials from the County, Authority and private investors received them.

GKFSP lies on 1.75 million acres comprising of 1.5 million acre Galana ranches and 275,000-acre Kulalu raches located on the lower reaches of the Athi and Tana River basins in Tana River and Kilifi counties. This land has a suitable terrain for agricultural mechanization.

The objectives of the implementation of GKFSP include enhancing national food security through productivity optimization of the ranches by targeted investments on crop and livestock production and integration of sustainable utilization of other natural resources.

This will not only improve food security in the country but also create employment opportunities, improve the income levels of the local communities thereby improving their socio-economic well-being. It will also promote the growth of agro-based industries by providing a reliable source of raw materials.

GKFSP is currently in its second phase of implementation with Lot 1 of the project comprising of electromechanical and mechanical works and Lot 2 of civil works. Cumulatively, the project is at 97% completion with the expected completion date set at December 31, 2023.

Currently, Twiga Foods, the private investor engaged, has established a maize crop trial on 538 acres being managed at different trial treatments. They are also carrying out studies on soils, irrigation systems, and crop water requirements in readiness for expansion as per the presidential directive after which they will submit a proposal that could lead to a financial close on the project.

Their target is to put a total of 20,000 acres and irrigation starting with 10,000 acres followed by an additional 10,000 acres after the construction of Galana dam.

For expansion and sustainability of GKFSP and in line with the presidential directives given, plans to construct Galana Dam are underway. A proposal has been submitted and is under review.

In addition, another PIP on development of an additional 350,000 acres has also been received by a different private investor and is currently under review by the Authority.

The CS was pleased with the progress of works in compliance with the Presidential directives. She also thanked Twiga Foods for the good job being done on site and confirmed that she is satisfied with the work done so far.

She assured Kenyans that with the steps being taken by the Government and Private Sector, the country will not only make a huge stride towards food security but also increased employment, improved livelihoods and consequently improved GDP in the country.

National Irrigation Authority continues to work towards providing and coordinating sustainable development and management of irrigation services in Kenya with the aim of drawing farmers towards irrigated agriculture which is more reliable and contributing towards food security in line with the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda.