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April 2024

Rice Farmers Counting Heavy Losses Due To Floods

KISUMU, Kenya, Dec 11 – Rice farmers within the West Kano Irrigation Scheme are staring at a Sh50 million loss after flood water marooned rice under farms.

The scheme chairman Jared Odoyo says rice crop within the 650 acres is now wasted as the region continues to receive heavy amounts of rains.

Odoyo says farmers took loans from banks and other micro finance institutions to develop their farms, which are now in ruins.

“Farmers are at crossroads since they must repay the loans and with schools opening next year, it is going to be a disaster,” he said.

He says the bumper harvest they had hoped to get in January next year is now a dashed hope.

Odoyo says the outlet pump too has failed to cope up with the magnitude of water as he appealed to both the county and national governments to assist farmers by acquiring a new pump.

“The outlet pump has been a problem to the farmers for two decades, it is a source of misery to the farmers and we would like to have a new pump bought,” he said.

While addressing the press at the scheme, the farmers hailed the appointment of the substantive chief executive officer for National Irrigation Authority (NIA), whom they say will now drive the enhancement of rice production and food security in the region.

The Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation late last month picked Eng. Charles Muasya as the CEO for NIA.

However, a farmer hailing from the Wes Kano Scheme has moved to the employment court in Kisumu to challenge the appointment of Eng. Muasya.

The farmers distanced themselves from the complainant noting that records do not indicate that he is a rice farmer in the region.

“We have gone through the list of our members and the name that has gone to court and purporting to be a farmer from tis scheme is not our member,” said Odoyo.

Odoyo says they have faith in the new CEO who has visited them on many occasions during his time as the acting CEO.

“What farmers want is service delivery to the people, the government is the appointing authority and if Eng. Muasya has been picked as the best, then we are behind him,” he said.

The farmers noted that they will not be dragged into the politics of NIA but will work with whoever is chosen by the government.

“We want the new CEO to help us address challenges affecting us at the scheme, let him come help us fix the new pump to get this flooded water out into Lake Victoria,” he said.

Joseph Yogo, a farmer, appealed to the new incoming CEO to liaise with the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to deal with the marauding hippopotamus that is wreaking havoc in their farms.

Yogo says besides floods, hippos are moving into their farms destroying everything in the farms.

“KWS has the capacity to ta these hippos, we have tried to keep them at bay but we have failed, we need help,” he said. QR Code

Published Date: December 11, 2023

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