PRESIDENT RUTO COMMISSIONS TDIP FOOD SECURITY PROJECT.
The Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority was recently honoured to host His Excellency, The President William Samoei Ruto during his five- day working tour of the Coast Region which comprised of issuing grants and commissioning various projects in line with the Government’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). In the President’s itinerary with regards to TARDA and specifically the Tana Delta Irrigation Project was the commissioning of the rehabilitated Sailoni Head-works and Rubber Dam as well as the inspection of the on-going rehabilitation of water delivery systems and farm restoration works respectively.
The President was accompanied by various Cabinet Secretaries and leaders among them the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of East African Community, the ASALs and Regional Development Ms. Rebecca Miano and Principal Secretary, State Department for ASALs and Regional Development Dr. Idris Dokota. The team was received on-site by the TARDA Team led by the Chairman Mr. Patrick Gichohi and Managing Director Mr. Liban Roba.
The Commissioning of the rehabilitated Sailoni Headworks & Rubber Dam aims at enabling TARDA to put up an additional 12,000 Ha of land under rice production, a move that will boost food security through increasing rice production in the country aimed at meeting the current deficit through production of 84,000MT of milled rice annually. This will further significantly reduce rice imports by 35% thereby saving the country Kshs.25 billion in foreign exchange. The Project will also improve the economic power of the communities in the area through the creation of 8,000 jobs directly and indirectly while at the same time providing water for domestic, livestock and farming uses to the surrounding 17 villages with a population of about 35,000 people.
During the Commissioning the President reiterated that the Government would work with the private sector and development partners to increase the acreage of land under irrigation farming in the Country. He further noted that the Government had already disbursed 450 Million for infrastructural development of the Project with stakeholders from the private sector expected to inject more funds
The President’s visit was a testament to the Government’s dedication to uplifting Tana River Count and his tour of the rehabilitation of water delivery systems and farm restoration works further emphasizes the Authority’s driver to ensure access to water for the communities within the region. His tour also enabled the Authority to showcase the measures we have put in place as an Authority to protect and restore the local ecosystem, further demonstrating our determination to create a sustainable model of agriculture that mitigates the impact of climate change.
His visit also served as a reminder of the immense challenges that the Authority has faced along the journey of reviving the Project. From the devastating El Nino floods to the change in the Tana Delta River course each hurdle has only strengthened our resolve to persevere and succeed.
This Commissioning was a preview of what lies ahead and as an Authority we are determined to build on this success as we strive to create lasting impacts on the lives of the people we serve. The event was a strong reminder of the incredible power of collective action in shaping a better, brighter and more sustainable future for all Kenyans.