By JAMES OMORO
Implementation of a Sh4 billion irrigation project in Homa Bay County has been hampered by vandalism and lack of co-operation among farmers.
The project manager, Engineer Nelson Korir, said residents have opted to destroy and steal water supply pipes installed underground.
“The work was progressing well but we have suffered a major setback as a result of people who vandalise our pipes and other metallic equipment. We suspect they are connected to scrap metal dealers,” said Korir.
The Kimira Oluch Smallholder Farm Improvement Project is being implemented in Homa Bay and Rachuonyo North districts.
The engineer told residents to stop the vice and uphold the project to enable them reap the benefits from the agricultural support the Government intends to accord them.
Rachuonyo North District Commissioner William Lenaremo told the residents to co-operate with security officers so that punitive measures could be taken against those found committing the offence.
“I will not tolerate any action intended to jeopardise development in this area. Those who are fond of this retrogressive behaviour have to stop it lest they face punitive legal measures,” said Mr Lenaremo.
The Project Consulting Engineer, Phillip Owuoti, told residents to stop ganging up against initiation of the project.
Owuoti noted that a section of the residents had protested against the project on their land, saying they needed compensation even though they did not qualify for it.
The project is funded by the Government in collaboration with African Development Bank to combat the effects of climate change.
The construction of the programme commenced in October 2009 and is expected to be complete this October.