Ir­ri­ga­tion plan to stop hunger in West Pokot

More than one mil­lion hectares to be put un­der ir­ri­ga­tion to pre­vent hunger

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Riftvalley - MARRYANN CHAI @ChaiMar­ryann

The state will ex­pand ir­ri­ga­tion pro­jects in arid ar­eas to re­duce hunger and star­va­tion for lack of food and water.

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Kenyatta said the gov­ern­ment has put 600,000 hectares un­der ir­ri­ga­tion coun­try­wide. By next year, more than one mil­lion hectares will be un­der ir­ri­ga­tion, he said.

Uhuru spoke on Wed­nes­day when he launched the Sh1.2 bil­lion Wei Wei Ir­ri­ga­tion Scheme in West Pokot.

The ir­ri­ga­tion scheme, ini­ti­ated by Italian De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion and Kenyan gov­ern­ment, has more than 250 farm­ers on 325 hectares.

The scheme will help in­crease food pro­duc­tion and re­duce reliance on re­lief food, he said. The Pres­i­dent re­it­er­ated the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to im­prove Kenyans’ liveli­hoods.

He said the Ju­bilee ad­min­is­tra­tion will not be dis­cour­aged by those op­pos­ing its de­vel­op­ment pro­jects.

“I have no time to lis­ten to pro­pa­ganda and lies spread by our op­po­nents. Hii nchi haitaen­deshwa na ma­neno matupu na porojo (the coun­try will not be gov­erned by empty rhetoric and pro­pa­ganda),” the Pres­i­dent said.

Uhuru ob­served that the launched pro­jects will help trans­form the lives of res­i­dents and help end peren­nial cases of ban­ditry in the re­gion.

He urged the Pokot com­mu­nity to join the new Ju­bilee Party that he said will unite Kenyans.

Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto said Ju­bilee’s de­vel­op­ment record speaks for it­self and will en­cour­age Kenyans to re­elect him and Uhuru.

“We will be judged by what we have done for the Kenyan peo­ple, not [by] false­hoods and pro­pa­ganda,” he said.

Ruto urged Kenyans not to lis­ten to the pro­pa­ganda spread by the op­po­si­tion, adding that they lack any de­vel­op­ment agenda for Kenya.

“They com­plained about the stan­dard gauge rail­way, roads and equip­ment for hospi­tals, but it has back­fired for them,” he said.

\REBECCA NDUKU /DPPS

Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto, Pres­i­dent Uhuru Kenyatta and West Pokot Si­mon Kachapin join Pokot tra­di­tional dancers dur­ing the launch of Phase 3 of the Sigor-Wei Wei In­ter­grated De­vel­op­ment Project in West Pokot on Wed­nes­day

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