H.E THE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF KENYA DR. WILLIAM SAMOEI RUTO COMMISSIONS THIBA DAM
Today, October 15, 2022, His Excellency the President and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces of Kenya Dr. William Samoei has commissioned Thiba Dam following its completion and filling up.
Farmers in Mwea Irrigation Scheme are already realizing the benefits of Thiba Dam among them; stabilization of irrigation water supply for the Scheme and increase of the area under irrigation by 10,000 acres.
With Thiba Dam now complete, Mwea Irrigation Scheme farmers can now crop for two seasons every year and harvest a ratoon crop thereby realizing up to 200,000 metric tons of rice per year.
The increase in rice production will in turn increase the value of production from the current Kes.10 Billion to Kes.18 Billion annually and create an additional 50,000 jobs leading to a cumulative 175,000 jobs in a year.
Additionally, over 13 large private mills have come up for rice value addition and baling of rice straws as fodder for livestock in the region.
The construction of Thiba Dam commenced on November 2018 and was completed in April 2022 having taken a commendable 41 months as opposed to its initial plan of 44months and saving Ksh. 400 million from the amount budgeted for the project.
The project scope of Thiba Dam encompassed river diversion works, dam embankment works, dam reservoir, spillway works, outlet works, sand trap dam, dam instrumentation, access and inspection roads, intake and control structures.
In his visit, the President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces was accompanied by his deputy, Hon. Rigathi Gachagua, Kirinyaga County Governor, Anne Waiguru, CS nominee, Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation, Hon. Alice Wahome and other leaders. He was received by the Chief Administrative Secretary for Irrigation Dr. Andrew Tuimur, CBS, National Irrigation Authority chairman, board members, the CEO, and management.
The President promised to ensure farmers get subsidized fertilizer including the requested Tripple SuperPhosphate and Sulphate of Ammonia. He also stressed on irrigation being the surest way to food security and promised to see that Kenya realizes it’s full potential of irrigated agriculture by exploring the 3 million acres of irrigable land. In addition, he charged his deputy to discuss with the relevant stakeholders on the way forward on ensuring that Kenyans have access to adequate water for irrigation and domestic use.