Leaders appeal for funds to complete water project
Leaders in Homa Bay have urged the government to allocate more funds to complete a stalled irrigation project in the county.
Led by Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo, they asked the Kenya Kwanza administration to set aside more money to facilitate the completion of the Kimira-Oluch Small-Holder Farm Improvement Project (Kosfip), an irrigation project covering parts of Rangwe and Karachuonyo constituencies. An estimated Sh7.5 billion has been spent on the project so far more than the amount initially budgeted for. The irrigation project initiated in 2007, was expected to cost Sh6 billion.
An additional Sh1.5 billion has been pumped into the project to buy additional construction materials and maintenance of the project.
Fifteen years after Kosfip was commissioned, target farmers are yet to benefit from the flow of water as a section of the project is stalled.
She said failure to complete the project within the stipulated timelines has derailed efforts to produce agricultural produce in parts of her constituency.
The lawmaker said some of the minor canals have not been completed to enable farmers to access to water for sustainable agricultural production.
“Some of the canals are blocked by silt. Something needs to be done to make water flow freely,” Gogo said. She stated that the project if properly implemented will ensure food sufficiency locally, noting that it can feed Homa Bay county and surplus sold in other counties.
The multi-million shilling irrigation project is one of the projects that leaders in Homa Bay presented in a memorandum to President William Ruto when he visited the county on a development tour on Friday last week.
During the presentation of the memorandum, leaders from Homa Bay told President Ruto that putting Kosfip to use will ensure the economic blueprint by the Head of State is realised.
Kimira Water Users Association chairman George Aoko said some areas in Karachunyo that have the potential for large-scale crop production have not been covered by the project.
“Many farmers who were hoping to tap water are still waiting to be connected to the canals more than a decade after they were engaged in the same. We should be able to produce food all year round if the project can supply water even in dry seasons,” Aoko said.
Farmers using water from Kosfip produce rice, vegetables and fruits.