1 March 2017

Kenya: Farmers in Busia Count Loses After Dam Bursts

Farmers in Samia are counting losses after their crops were submerged when Munana Dam which is under construction overflowed.

The area received heavy rains over the weekend which affected several acres of farmland in Luchululo village.

The farmers are now blaming the National Irrigation Board (NIB) and the contractor for poor design and workmanship at the dam.

They said the new design blocked key channels forcing excess water to spill over into the farms.

"We have been farming here for the past 30 years and we have never experienced this kind of flood even. We wonder what has changed yet it has only rained thrice this year," said William Wafula, a farmer.

The farmers are calling on NIB to compensate them for the loss saying the destruction will affect their livelihood.

Nangina Ward Representative John Obwogo threatened to sue NIB for negligence and working on a project that is long overdue.

"We have had this dam for years and since NIB came it's over ten years and the dam is yet to be completed," he said.

Deputy County Commissioner Samia, Paul Kiprotich Rop appealed for calm among residents affirming government's commitment to support them.

Mr Kiprotich urged locals to move to higher grounds in order to avoid a catastrophe.

However, Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong who visited the affected families accused the national government for initiating projects in the county without putting effort to complete them.

"This project happens to be one of the white elephant projects by the Jubilee administration it has taken long to be completed for it to serve its purpose," he said.

He also faulted MPs from the county for failing to lobby for completion of such projects.


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