Rehabilitation of Njoro Kubwa canal in Taveta kicked off on Sartuday after the Taita Taveta County Government and residents officially handed over the site to Borbada Group of Companies who won the tender .
Addressing the residents of Kitobo during the signing of the contract agreement between the department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, the community and the contractor, Agriculture Chief Officer Boniface Mwakio said the project will ensure 5,000 acres get enough water for irrigation.
“The project worth 11 million shillings will greatly improve the output, subsequently ensure food sustainability and economic empowerment. It will be completed within 16 weeks,” said Mr Mwakio.
He urged the community to be vigilant to ensure the project benefits the residents and the contractor adheres to the Bill of Quantities.
Farmers said that huge sand deposit in the canal has diverted water to the farms there by destroying their crops and negatively affecting their livelihoods.
“I have 4 acres of banana plantation, the water has turned my plants yellow, it destroys our crops and greatly affects our income. Once the project is complete we will feed the whole County and Country. Our bananas are unique and attractive with high demand in the market. Our children will go to school without fail and our health will improve significantly, ” said Mr. John Mutua.
The excavation of the 12 km canal project is funded by the World Bank through the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture program. The works to be undertaken in phases will include desilting of the canal to at least one-metre deep, protection wall along Riata Ndogo-Kitobo, rehabilitation of the intake at Kamleza, reducing the pressure of storm water draining into the canal by constructing a barrier wall upstream among other works.
The contractor said the works will officially commence next week. He pledged to work with the committee and the residents to deliver a worthwhile project as per the agreement.
“The manpower will not be outsourced please let us cooperate and complete this work in time. The scope of the project is wide, please once you get the job ensure you follow the laid down procedures, we will talk to the chairman to get qualified workers including security officers, ” said the Contractor Mr Abdullahi Daleno.