The residents of Nzoia had asked the national government to fast track their compensation for the land that was taken to build the 5billion Lower Nzoia Irrigation project.
This national government-funded project is yet to be completed. These citizens accused the National Land Commission over the late payment.
This project covers over 9,884 acres in Siaya and Busia counties. It was officially launched on October, 1, 2013 and is expected to be completed and commissioned in December 2022. However, the delay in compensation for the land can lead to delays where they are demanding Ksh 1.2 million although the NLC says some part of the land has been paid already. The construction of this project is being undertaken by Sinohydro Corporation Limited.
The County Development Implementation and Coordination committee says that there is no single cent that has been compensated for the land. It is the duty of the committee to coordinate and implement national government projects and programmes.
Moses ole Tialal who is also the county commissioner chairs the committee and says the residents are not willing to give all their land before compensation. This committee visited the project recently and blamed NLC, the National Treasury and the Water and Irrigation Department for failing to coordinate appropriately.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is the one who ordered for the formation of the committee to facilitate effective implementation of this multi-billion project.
The committee has also asked the state departments to work together for the benefit of the citizens.
There are two phases of the project. The first will cost Sh3.9 billion water management points and the second Sh1.4 billion which also involves dykes.
Recently, the contactor said that construction of the water intake was 25 per cent complete and the construction of emergency weir was 60 per cent.
Poor supervision is said to be the main cause of slow implementation of the project. The committee recommended supervision to be done by the people in the grass root to ensure that the funds are used in accordance to the law and in terms of the contract.
Officials had met in IEBC Hall, Siaya county. They appealed the contractor to fast-track the project so that the residents can begin benefitting from the works of the project.
“Projects managed from Nairobi end up being expensive for the taxpayers,” The committee report revealed.
The responsibility of the county committee is to monitor, verify, evaluate and provide feedback about the progress of the project to the national government. The CDICC is also expected to promote public support through public participation activities as provided in the constitution.
Agriculture executive Charles Ogada in the county government of Siaya asked all the people around the project to cooperate with the contractor and the NLC. He also asked farmers to begin registering cooperative societies in preparation for the operation of this mega irrigation project. Additionally, he said the county government will provide loans to farmers to enable them reap maximum benefits from the irrigation scheme.
According to Ogada, the county government has provided 14 blocks along River Nzoia for all farmers. “We’re establishing demonstration plots for farmers to learn different technologies so they copy and use them in crop production,” he stated.