The governance and management organization structure of NIA consist of the Board and Management structure. The core responsibility of the Board is to do oversight and provide overall strategic direction of NIA. Additionally, the Board is to undertake corporate evaluation to ensure that the organization conforms to its statutory mandate and role in contributing towards food and nutrition security in Kenya. The roles and duties of the Board are captured in the Irrigation Act 2019 and in the Irrigation Act Board Charter.
The Board Charter further provides details on the various organs or Board committees, and how the Board conducts its business, including the framework of conducting Board evaluation. NIA has a total of ten (10) Board members, comprised of; a chairperson, the Principal Secretary responsible for Irrigation, the Principal Secretary responsible for Finance, the Principal Secretary responsible for Agriculture, the Principal Secretary for the time being responsible for Water, two persons nominated by the Council of County Governors, one person nominated by the registered association representing the largest number of entities in the private sector in Kenya and one person nominated by irrigation farmers associations.
The Authority’s Chief Executive Officer is an Ex-Officio member of the Board. The Irrigation Act 2019 which created a National Irrigation Authority (NIA) with the express mandate of regulating, promoting the development, and effective management of irrigation services in Kenya. In summary, the specific roles and responsibilities of the Authority, as contained in the Irrigation Act 2019, include development of water-based irrigation infrastructure, agricultural production (agronomic) based services, marketing based irrigation infrastructure services, and overall coordination and facilitating sustainable irrigation and drainage services, covering large, medium, and small-scale irrigation projects in Kenya.
This expanded mandate of NIA as envisaged in the Irrigation Act 2019 implies that NIA will have a new corporate identity since it shall have the responsibility of undertaking management as well as coordination role of all activities within the irrigation sector value chain as stated in its functions, powers, duties and responsibilities an expansion of the previous mandate of NIB. The new corporate identity will invariably require a relook and reorientation of the corporate strategic direction of the organization. The recent enactment of the Irrigation Act will require the Cabinet Secretary shall provide the effective and guidelines date for making it operational.