Gov’t slashes Galana Kulalu project budget by half


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Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa during a past event. PHOTO| COURTESY

The Galana Kulalu food security project will now be implemented at a cost of 7.2 billion shillings down from 14 billion shillings.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation Eugene Wamalwa said his ministry has crafted a new road-map for the project’s 10,000-acre model farm.

“The model farm will be used as a proof of concept to attract local and international investors to Galana. The current Expression Of Interest (EOI) for private investors to Galana has received overwhelming response from local and international investors,” said Wamalwa.

Wamalwa said an inter-ministerial task force reviewed the Galana project’s contract and phased out what was not essential for the irrigation project.

“The parliamentary committee expressed its confidence in the progress that we have made so far, and promised to join the Ministry on a familiarization trip to Galana in a few weeks to witness, first-hand, the immense potential, and indeed promise, that the project has for the local community, and the country at large,” he said.

Among the items that were removed from the project is the construction of a milling plant that will now be ceded out to the private sector.

“Galana has the potential to make Kenya food secure and propel the nation to being a net exporter of maize and other food crops. The 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Food Security Index ranks Kenya 83rd globally and 9th in Sub Saharan Africa. As a country, we can do much better.”

Wamalwa said private investors have been invited to participate in the project.

“We are taking active measures to ensure that we help build a sustainable future for Kenya. Through the Galana Kulalu Food Security Project, and in partnership with the Israeli Government, 100 young Kenyans will get free training on irrigation engineering in Israel every year for six years; with the same training model being replicated in various Kenyan institutions of higher learning,” added the CS.

According to Wamalwa, Galana will drop the price of maize flour for the Kenyan people and will directly employ hundreds of thousands of people .

“Our initial estimates show that Unga made from Galana produce will retail at below Ksh 84 per 2-kilogramme packet,” said Wamalwa.

Other major projects (Mini Galanas) are on-going; Lower Kuja in Migori, Mwea expansion in Kirinyaga, Lower Sio in Busia and various in Turkana.

Wamalawa said his Ministry is planning to initiate other major projects in various parts of the country including Ewaso Ngiro North, Lower Nzoia, Mwache, Turkana, Baringo, Turkwel and Kerio Rivers among other projects spread across the country in a bid to address Kenya’s food security requirements.

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Maureen Murimi
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