Kirinyaga County Government in collaboration with the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) has started the rehabilitation of Mwea Irrigation Scheme road targeting to cover 120 kilometres in one month.
Rehabilitation of roads within the rice scheme is part of a programme by the county government to Murram six kilometres of roads per ward per week on a rotational basis.
The programme was developed by a multi-sectorial committee formed between the county executive and the County Assembly to accelerate the improvement of rural access roads across the county.
According to Standard Newspaper, during an event held at NIA offices in Mwea, the County Chief Officer for Roads, Transport and Public Works Mr. John Makumi, who represented Governor Anne Waiguru, said that the roads programme was aimed at easing the farmers’ burden of transporting their produce to the market.
Mr. Makumi added that the county government had handed over seven 20 ton trucks, two motor graders, two rollers, two excavators and a water bowser to NIA which would oversee the implementation of the project within the scheme.
The Mwea Irrigation Scheme Manager Innocent Ariemba thanked the county government for the partnership and added that while the County Government had given out the machinery, NIA would cater for fuel and oversee the work to ensure it is done within the stipulated standards and time.
“The project is very helpful to farmers since as much as NIA has distributed water throughout the scheme and offered enough extension services, the roads within the schemes had remained a major challenge contributing to increased cost of rice production,” Member of County Assembly for Tebere Mr. Gudson Muchina was quoted by the Standard.
The chairman of Mwea Water Users Association Morris Mutugi said that the farmers were happy that the County Government and NIA had come to their rescue. He said that the programme would ensure that the works were spread in all the wards across the scheme.
“This is a new beginning for Mwea rice farmers who have been incurring a lot of money on transporting rice from the farms to the mills,” he said, adding that transporting one sack of rice has been costing farmers Sh300 but when the roads are improved, it will only cost Sh100 thereby reducing the cost of production.