Kilifi MCAs move to push State out of Galana-Kulalu project

A tractor at the Galana-Kulalu project in Tana River County. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A tractor at the Galana-Kulalu project in Tana River County. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A row is in the offing after Kilifi County MCAs passed a motion stopping the national government from making further investments in the Sh7 billion Galana/Kulalu irrigation scheme.

The motion tabled by Adu MCA Stanley Kenga, who is also the Deputy Speaker, directs Land and Agriculture executives to initiate measures to stop the multibillion shilling project.

Speaker Jimmy Kahindi approved the motion that blocks farming activities at the Galana/Kulalu irrigation scheme after the MCAs unanimously passed it.

Galana/Kulalu irrigation scheme is a Sh7.29 billion national government flagship project that covers about one million acres in Kilifi and Tana River counties.

Only 5,000 acres out of the targeted one million have been put under crop as work is hastened for completion of another 4,400 acres after installation of five pumps.

Mr Kahindi said the motion also demands the national government to ensure there is public participation before the county assembly approves the projects viability.

While tabling the motion, Mr Kenga said residents of Kilifi ought to have been involved before initiating the project which has taken a lot of their resources.

“The people ought to have been consulted before initiating the project which violated Section 114 of the County Governments Act, 2013 and part two of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution,” he said.

“The project was initiated to address issues of hunger but we have nothing to show four years down the line and people in Chakama and other parts of Kilifi are still suffering from hunger,” he said.

He further claimed that the irrigation project has dried up River Sabaki-Galana making life difficult for thousands of residents who used to depend on the river for domestic use, agriculture and fishing.

“Residents of Garashi, Mgomoni, Chakama and Baricho are the most affected by the dwindling of water in River Sabaki,” he said.