MATUU, 4 July 2017 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta today commissioned the largest water canal in Ukambani region as part of his administration’s efforts to lift the lives of the dry region by providing sufficient water for irrigation.
The President reopened the canal after Kshs 2.2 billion rehabilitation works, the first time such a project was undertaken since the canal was constructed by the colonial government.
President Kenyatta said the rehabilitation of the 58.8 kilometre Yatta Canal is part of his administration’s transformational agenda for the Lower Eastern region.
“I am glad that our investment in the rehabilitation of this canal is positively and directly imparting on the lives of residents and attracting investors who are creating jobs for the youth,” President Kenyatta said when he addressed residents at Matuu in Machakos County after commissioning the water canal.
President Kenyatta said the completion of the water canal’s rehabilitation works has increased acreage under irrigation from 6,000 to 25,000 acres.
He said plans are also underway to construct Yatta dam that will increase the acreage under irrigation to 45,000 acres and within two years expand it to become the largest irrigation scheme in the country, surpassing Mwea.
With the completion of the rehabilitation works of the canal, it now serves over 74,000 people including over 1,000 farmers who are using the water to irrigate their farms. It has also attracted a flower firm, Flower City, which has provided employment to 400 people from the area.
President Kenyatta urged Ukambani residents to support his re-election so as to continue transforming the country for the benefit of all Kenyans.
“Our focus is to transform the country and lift the lives of Kenyans through projects in health, water, agriculture, roads and electricity,” President Kenyatta said.
Deputy President William Ruto, who accompanied the President, said Ukambani residents have a reason to vote for Jubilee based on the development implement in the region.
On infrastructure, the Deputy President said the Jubilee has constructed 260 kilometres of new roads in Machakos County in the last four years.
He also cited the connection of electricity to households where he said it has increased from 60,000 households in 2013 to the current 130,000.
“Do not be confused by the opposition who are driven by selfish interests. Vote for Jubilee which is committed to working to improve your lives,” the Deputy President said.
The Deputy President added that the Jubilee Government has the interests of Ukambani at heart and has an elaborate plan to solve the perennial problem of water shortage that is a major hurdle to the development of the region.
He said unlike the opposition whose manifesto does not have even a single sentence on provision of water for irrigation, Jubilee is set to construct 10 dams in the Ukambani region out of the 57 that will be constructed countrywide. These include Thwake, Maruba and Yatta dams.
To take the much-needed specialized medical services closer to t residents and save lives, the Jubilee administration has invested Kshs 1.14 billion to provide modern start-of-the-art medical equipment to Machakos Level 5 and Kangundo Level 4 hospitals under the cost-effective and innovative Managed Equipment Service (MES) program.
Under the MES programme, Machakos Level 5 Referral Hospital received intensive care unit equipment, theatre, sterilization and surgical sets, 5 dialysis machines and digital imaging equipment worth Kshs 760 million. Kangundo Level 4 Hospital received theatre, sterilization and surgical sets, and digital imaging equipment worth Kshs 380 million.
Earlier when the President toured Masinga Constituency at the start of his meet-the-people tour of Machakos County, launched the construction of the Matuu-Ekalakala-Kaguku road at the cost of Kshs 1.138 billion.