2 October 2005

Kenya: ADB to Fund Sh3 Billion Irrigation Project

Nairobi — African Development Bank (ADB) is committed to funding the Kimira-Oluch Irrigation project in Homa Bay and Rachuonyo District at a cost of Sh3 billion.

Mr Lam Amadou, who led the Bank's delegation from Tunis, said project is expected to commence within the next six months, adding the cost was still provisional and may rise.

He said the headquarters of the project would be in Homa Bay town which had all the facilities needed.

"We hope the project will take off early next year and want the local community to be part of it," he said.

Amadou said most of the ground work had been done and what remained was the signing of the loan agreement between the Government and the bank upon approval by its Board of Directors.

"We want farmers to be trained and to play an effective role in the project's implementation," he said.

Lam said the delegation would on Thursday meet Government officials to discuss the possibility of signing the loan agreement at a later date.

He was speaking at the offices of Lake Basin Development Authority where ADB officials held discussions with the management of the Authority.

Present was the authority's Managing Director Ferdinard Wanyama who said a study to determine the project's feasibility was conducted in 1998 and funded by the bank to the tune of Sh190 million.

"Our commitment is to see it succeed and that is why we have been in talks with the bank. We hope to make it participatory to achieve its objectives," he said.

Rangwe MP Philip Okundi said the move would help reduce poverty in the region.

He said early this year, over 200 homes were destroyed by floods and the 1,000 people displaced are yet to be resettled.

"If the project can take off then we will be able to control flooding and increase food production in the area," he said.

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