What you need to know:
- The programme is aimed at easing farmers’ burden of transporting their produce to the markets.
- The National Irrigation Authority will oversee the implementation of the project within the scheme.
- Mwea Irrigation Scheme Manager Innocent Ariemba thanked the county government for the partnership.
The Kirinyaga County Government, in collaboration with the National Irrigation Authority (NIA), has started rehabilitating roads within the giant Mwea Irrigation Scheme.
The project targets to cover 120 kilometres of roads in one month.
During an event held at the NIA offices in Mwea on Thursday, the County Chief Officer for Roads, Transport and Public Works John Makumi, who represented Governor Anne Waiguru, said that the roads programme is aimed at easing farmers’ burden of transporting their produce to the markets.
He said that the Kirinyaga County Government had handed over seven 20-ton trucks, two motor graders, two rollers, two excavators and a water bowser to NIA which will oversee the implementation of the project within the scheme.
He added that Governor Waiguru’s administration is ready to give more equipment should the need arise.
Mwea Irrigation Scheme Manager Innocent Ariemba thanked the county government for the partnership. He said that while the county had given out the machinery, NIA will cater for fuel and oversee the work to ensure it is done within the stipulated standards and time.
Cost of rice production
Tebere Ward MCA Gudson Muchina lauded the partnership, saying that after NIA finishes the first phase of the project, the county government will fund the subsequent phase which will cover the remaining roads.
“The project is very helpful to farmers since, as much as NIA has distributed water throughout the scheme and offered enough extension services, the roads within the schemes had remained a major challenge contributing to increased cost of rice production,” said the MCA.
Mwea Water Users Association Chairman Morris Mutugi said that the farmers are happy that the county government and NIA have come to their rescue. He said that the programme will ensure that the works are spread in all the wards across the scheme.
“This is a new beginning for Mwea rice farmers who have been spending a lot of money on transporting rice from the farms to the mills,” he said.
He revealed that transporting one sack of rice has been costing farmers Sh300 but when the roads are improved, it will only cost Sh100, thereby reducing the cost of production.
The rehabilitation of roads within the rice scheme is part of a programme by the county government to put murram on six kilometres of roads in a ward every week on a rotational basis.
The programme was developed by a multi-sectoral committee comprising members of the county executive and the county assembly with the aim of improving rural access roads across Kirinyaga.