Background Information

The Lower Kuja Irrigation Development Project is located in Nyatike Sub County, Migori County within the Lower Kuja River basin. The project is situated about 400 km to the west of the capital city of Nairobi, 110 km to the south of Kisumu City, 45 km to the north-west of Migori town and 15 km to the west of Macalder Township, the Nyatike District headquarters. The Project covers 6 locations and 13 sub-locations in Nyatike and Karungu Divisions.

The Project history dates back to the 1980s when various studies, planned and organized by the Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA), identified the potential for irrigation within the area with the use water for irrigation from the Kuja and Migori Rivers. Between 2010 and 2011, a feasibility and detailed design study was carried out by GIBB Africa Ltd on a contract with the then National Irrigation Board (NIB), Ministry of Water and Irrigation. The main crops proposed for the scheme included paddy crops and upland crops such as seed and dry maize, sweet potatoes, green grams, kales, cabbages, onions, bananas, passion, Asian vegetables and watermelons:

Status of Works

90% of works have been done in block A, B and C which is equal to 2,000 acres and 65% of works done in block D equal to 600 acres. The ongoing works in block A, B, C and D are majorly;

  • De-silting of drains, Tertiaries and Feeders canals
  • Construction of crossing and access culverts
  • Construction of check gates and feeder gates
  • Construction of Division boxes
  • Grading of Scheme Roads
  • Excavation of Feeders and Drain canals in block D
  • De-silting of Main canal in Block M
  • Bush Clearing

Figure 5: Growing tomatoes at Lower Kuja

Project Goals and Objectives


  • Ensuring food security at the local level and contributing towards the same at national level;
  • Creation of employment and income generation at the local and national levels;
  • Contributing to sustainable supply of raw materials for agro-based industries;
  • Contribution to foreign exchange generation through export of surplus food and cash crops.

Scope of the Project

The scope of works envisaged during the design review was proposed as follows;

  • Intake weir protection
  • Excavation of branch, tertiary and feeder canals for 445 acres
  • Construction of infrastructures; check gates, road crossings and drop structures
  • Construction of drainage system