Galana scheme gets clean bill of health after row among MPs

The House Committee on Agriculture has given the one million-acre Galana-Kulalu irrigation scheme a clean bill of health, just weeks after disagreements among members on whether it should be stopped.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the ground breaking at Galana-Kulalu irrigation project. PHOTO | FILE 

BY GERALD ANDAE

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The House Committee on Agriculture has given the one million-acre Galana-Kulalu irrigation scheme a clean bill of health, just weeks after disagreements among members on whether it should be stopped.

Its deputy chairperson Kereke Mbiuki said they were satisfied with the review conducted so far, noting that the State had stopped sideshows that had diverted the project from the core business of irrigation.

“We were concerned about the costs, things like international schools and milling plants that pushed up the cost. These expenses have been shelved and will be footed through the Public Private Partnerships rather than solely by the tax payer and that is why we are now backing the project,” Mr Mbiuki said.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation revised the budget downwards to Sh7 billion from the initial Sh14 billion by getting rid of the mill that would have been installed on the site.

A fortnight ago, some of the committee members objected the move by the chairman to make a decision on the project, noting that pending issues that had led to its suspension last year in December had to be addressed first.

The chairman, Adan Noor, was supposed to make the announcement on the site mid this month when members made a visit to the farm, a move that was opposed by some MPs.

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