Deputy President William today commissioned the construction of Sh7billion Lower Nzoia Irrigation phase one project that is aimed at ending the 50-year-old floods menace in the region.
Speaking after commissioning the project at Busagwa Primary School in Bunyala Sub County and later during a funds drive in aid of Kingandole Secondary School in Butula for purchase of a school bus, the DP said the project will increase irrigation from the current 2000 acres to 10,000 acres.
“The project will have three components; they include regulation of water, construction of 100km primary, secondary and tertiary canals in Siaya and Busia and 34km dykes on both sides of River Nzoia,” he said.
The DP said the project upon completion will give the people of Busia County more water for irrigation and additional for processing of rice, “he said, adding that the irrigation scheme will increase the number of acreage from 2000 to 10,000.
He added: “The project will increase rice farmers’ income from Sh600m to Sh4b per year; it will also see 12 households or 60,000 people benefit.”
Dr Ruto said a rice mill will be put up as part of the project; water will be used for irrigation, food security and to increase farmers’ incomes.
He said the National Government will avail a further Sh1b for rural electrification; this will see 20,000 more people benefit from electricity.
In response to the Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, Budalangi MP Raphael Wanjala and Bunyala Central MCA Felix Omanyi’s request, the DP directed the Ministry of water to budget for a dredging machine to keep the river on its channel.
The Governor said Bunyala can feed the rest of Kenya, what it only needs is infrastructure. “The on-going infrastructure development will end challenges faced by the Agricultural rich sub county,” he said.
Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, a former chief resource officer of NIB and regional schemes manager, said there was need for value additions in ice to produce chicken, fish and cattle feeds among others.