Rice farmers assured of irrigation water

The National Irrigation Authority (NIA) Corporate Communicaton Manager Dan Nzonzo briefing the the Thiba dam site after the 15.6 million water reservoir filled up to capacity and ready for use by the Mwea rice farmers

The perennial scramble for irrigation water for the Mwea rice farmers has come to an end following the filling in of water at the Thiba mega dam.

Farmers will from this season use the  water to plant their crop  without any fear of losing the seedlings to the dry spell which normally comes around  due to   the climate  change.

The dam with a reservoir capacity of 15 .6 million cubic liters of water was completed in march this year after which the National Irrigation Authority   started filling  it up.

The National Irrigation Authority (NIA) Engineer Stephen Mutinda speaking to the media at the Thiba dam site which he confirmed was now complete and fully operational

According the Authority’s Corporate Communication Manager Dan Nzonzo  farmers will be able to plant two seasons  per year thereby doubling production  which will also translate to  doubled financial income .

“Farmers will no longer depend on rain water  which  is not only unreliable after  the rains subside leaving Thiba and Nyamindi rivers  at their  lowest levels at the time irrigation water  was required ,”Nzonzo said .

The official who was briefing the media at the dam site said only the required amount of irrigation water would be  released downstream   in a very organised manner such that  every section of the scheme will be receiving its  rightful amount of the precious commodity .

A section of the farmers interviewed this morning exuded confidence in the rice  sector  after many years of perennial water shortage in the 25,000 hectares  under rice cultivation  following the completion of the  Sh 7.8 billion mega dam.

 In  that regard , Nzonzo said the projected total dam cost was Sh 8.2 billion but the contractor completed the project ahead of the scheduled time saving the government Sh 400 million .

“From  this season  farmers at the Mwea Irrigation scheme who have been under producing the crop will start leaping  the fruits of irrigated agriculture  where quality rice grain will be produced ,”Nzonzo said.

He also said  safety measures have been put in place at the dam site to ensure   visitors   to  the facility did not risk their lives to the aquatic animals which have migrated there  or the massive water reservoir.

A section of the operational  Thiba dam spill way  after the reservoir got filled up to it's 15.6 million cubic  liter water capacity

A NIA Engineer Stephen Mutinda who was overseeing the construction works of this Jubilee Government flag ship project said the dam’s spill way was now having the excess water flowing downstream back to Thiba  river.

“I must assure area residents that the completion and consequent filling of this dam has no adverse effects on the environment or the ecosystem since thorough research had been conducted prior to having the project started, “he said .

The completion of the dam which was started in 2018 will  have long term positive effects on generations to come , Nzonzo added

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