Gov’t to pump Sh.600M to revive Sh.6B stalled Galana Kulalu scheme

A combine harvester harvesting maize at the Galana-Kulalu scheme in Tana River PHOTO COURTESY

The government is set to pump sh. 600 million to jumpstart the Galana Kulalu irrigation project more than a year after the project stalled putting down the drain sh. 6 billion invested into the project.

The project collapsed after Green Arava, the Israeli firm contracted to construct the project soured relations with the National Irrigation Board, the agency that was implementing the project on behalf of the Ministry of Water and irrigation with both parties blaming each other over the collapse.

In a media briefing during the handing over ceremony, the outgoing water cabinet secretary Simon Chelugui said that the government is employing mechanisms to embark on the project to help in feeding the country.

“Through executive order number two of 2019 that is in October, and as we speak, we were doing the planning and strategy of restarting the project, “Chelugui said.

Chelugui said that last year the ministry was able to put production at 3,000 acres.

The project commenced in September 2015 with the government planning to irrigate 1,000,000 acres of arable land located in Kilifi and Tana River counties.

The first phase of the project involved the construction of a model farm on 10,000 acres of the land with the contractor being tasked with the construction of an irrigation system, pumping stations, and a maize mill.

The estimated projected revenue of the project was sh 1.2 billion of maize sales however the wrangles between the contractor and the irrigation board saw it earn a revenue of sh 237.7 million.

The project also saw a standoff between the National Irrigation Board and leaders from Kilifi and Tana River counties who accused the board of orchestrating a plan to see the scheme grabbed through privatization.

Editing by Janet Murikira