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Ksh3.4B Bura Irrigation Scheme rehabilitation project taking shape

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Tana River County residents have been urged to take up irrigation farming at the Bura Irrigation Scheme ahead of the commissioning of a 76 kilometer water canal.

The Cabinet Secretary for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Alice Muthoni Wahome who visited the Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme Rehabilitation Project at Kora intake said she was happy with the progress of the Ksh3.4 billion project that was started in 2017 by the national government.

“We want to push the irrigated land from the current 5,000 to an extra 15,000 acres for irrigation. We have rice and other crops,” she said.

The new gravity intake is expected to be completed in December this year and will inject 11 cubic meters of water per second compared to the diesel fed pump station at Nanighi area that pumps only 3 cubic meters per second into the canal.

“We have pushed the intake further up and therefore we expect more water. The farming activity is still very low and we still need to increase farming activities and introduce commercial farming and I want to encourage residents of Tana River to get ready for the water we shall be releasing soon,” she said.

CS Alice Wahome during a visit to the Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme Rehabilitation Project at Kora intake.

It is also touted to reduce operational costs for the Bura scheme hence bringing down the cost of water charged on farmers and it will also enhance food security and support grass root farmers produce food in line with the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

The project’s execution entails three phases where phase one involved sheet piling and construction of Korakora intake works while phase two focused on the new 26 kilometer main canal from Kora Kora to Nanighi and phase three involved the rehabilitation and lining of the existing 50 kilometer main canal that runs from Nanigi to Bura.

According to the government, phase one is nearly complete at 98% while phase two has achieved 50% completion and phase three is scheduled to commence in November this year.

Currently, only 2,500 acres of the 25,000 acres of the scheme is under use and with the new project, not only will it enhance food security but it will also increase beneficiary income and promote industrial crop cultivation through manufacturing.