Sh150m irrigation scheme to boost Othaya farmers’ incomes
In a newspaper article appearing in the Star on March 3rd 2021, it was reported that:
The government has launched construction of a Sh151 irrigation project at Chinga in Othaya, Nyeri.
Water PS Joseph Irungu on Friday said the Changachicha irrigation project is designed for 1,000 homes and will irrigate 500 acres. He said the government is focusing on irrigation projects because of climate change and inadequate rainfall.
Irungu spoke during the launch at Chinga community ground.
The contractor – Property World Limited – said it is scheduled for completion by February next year.
“This is the very first one we are doing for now in Othaya, but we shall be back here to do the Rukira Irrigation Project that is currently at the design stage,” he said.
The ministry expects to supply over 80 per cent of Kenya’s population with clean water by 2022 and sewerage connection of 40 per cent up from 26 per cent currently.
The government is carrying out projects that will enable it to achieve this goal. The projects under this programme include the Northern Collector Tunnel, which is meant to supply 140 million litres of water to Nairobi, and Ruai sewerage works.
Similar projects are underway in about 28 towns and upon completion, the ministry will embark on last mile connectivity, which will involve connection to individual homes.
Othaya MP Gichuki Mugambi said the Changachicha project will enable farmers, predominantly tea growers, to diversify, earn income from horticultural farming and improve their welfare.
“Diversifying into horticulture will enable them to supplement the little income from their tea farming,” he said.
“This water is going to give us enough food and as you know, this is one of the major pillars of President Uhuru [Kenyatta’s] government,” he said.
He requested the government to ensure every ward in Othaya has an irrigation project. He said it will provide a major avenue to engage youth in farms, citing a huge market for horticulture in the area due to the KNH–Othaya Annex Hospital.
PS Irungu handed out 5,000 avocado and 1,000 macadamia seedlings to Othaya farmers.