By Benjamin Wafula, Busia
The County Government of Busia will put over 10,000 acres of land under irrigation in Bunyala with additional acreage in Nambale and Malaba under rice farming.
Governor Paul Otuoma’s move is to increase rice production in the county and streamline economic growth. The irrigation potential in the area is about 20,000 acres with over 20,000 direct beneficiaries spread over Busia and Siaya Counties.
This was agreed on during a meeting between Governor Otuoma and area leaders led by Butula MP Joseph Oyula, Raphael Wanjala (Budalangi) and Mary Emase (Teso South).
Principal Secretary for Irrigation Gitonga Mugambi and National Irrigation Board Chief Executive Officer were in attendance.
In the meeting, it was also agreed that remaining civil works on block eight stretching 2.7km which lies in lower Nzoia Bunyala sub-county be completed within 14 days.
“The construction of the primary and tertiary dykes to control flooding in Bunyala be completed within seven days,” said Governor Otuoma
He added: “A joint inspection tour between the principal secretary Gitonga Mugambi and I the governor be done before the president comes to Busia for the launch in 14 days’ time,”
It was also agreed that rice mills to be incorporated in the scope of the project for the Bunyala rice scheme and more private millers be encouraged to establish rice mills in the county.
On the irrigation scheme along River Suo which started in 2014 covering Butula, Nambale, Matayos and Funyula, the CEO for National Irrigation Board reported that there was a design review and a new contractor Ms GL WILLIAMS Ltd was awarded the contract to complete the works in the four sub-counties by December 2023.
On Angololo and Kocholia Dams, it was mutually agreed that upon completion of feasibility studies for the trans-boundary states will sign an MOU with African Development Bank to finance the massive project.
Land compensation to the affected people in the implementation of the project was cited as a serious impediment in Bunyala.
It was noted that the ministry of water had disbursed funds to National lands commission for compensation to affected people.
Governor Paul Otuoma and leaders from Busia County
It was decided in a meeting held with CEO National Land Commission that joint team between National Land Commission, Members of Parliament and County Government hold stakeholders’ meetings in entire Bunyala on April 21st and 22nd to resolve all issues relating to compensation.
The County government of Busia and national government will embark on a joint venture to drench the wetlands in Bunyala in order to create land for farming with cooperative movements in the rice growing areas to be supported in management to ensure self-sustainability of the project.