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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:26 PM   #1
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Kenya Plans Irrigation Scheme To Boost Farm Output




Kenya Plans Irrigation Scheme To Boost Farm Output
The schemes are supported by the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Kenya plans to invest 12.6 billion shillings ($165 million) on irrigation schemes to reduce its dependence on rain-fed agriculture and grow more high-value crops, President Mwai Kibaki said on Tuesday.
Agriculture accounts for a quarter of gross domestic product in east Africa's largest economy, generating 45 percent of income and contributing more than half of foreign exchange earnings.

The rise in global food prices and fertilisers have driven up local food prices in Kenya, where the annual inflation rate was 28.4 percent in October. Stripping out food items, the rate was 13.0 percent.

"We have the potential to become the grain-basket for this region and beyond. Our farmers are capable of doubling productivity so that we have food security for our people and a surplus for export," Kibaki told an agriculture conference.

Kibaki said Kenya would invest 4.3 billion shillings over the next five years on small-scale irrigation projects and marketing infrastructure for horticultural crops, plus 8.3 billion to expand the Mwea irrigation scheme by 3,500 acres.

The schemes are supported by the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

"I urge farmers to take advantage of this investment and grow more high value crops such as flowers, soya beans, French beans, fruits, herbs and spices for sale to the regional and international markets," Kibaki said.

"Nevertheless, we are still far from harnessing our full irrigation potential," he said, adding that government would target new investment in other suitable areas.

Kenya's agriculture minister said on Monday the government planned to raise spending on farming to 10 percent of its annual budget from 4.5 percent.

The extra funding will be used to develop markets for products such as tea and coffee, invest in sugar factories and provide affordable inputs such as fertiliser. Kenya is the world's biggest exporter of black tea.

As part of Kenya's long-term plan to become an industrialised country, the government hopes to expand the area of cultivated land by 1 million acres, boost productivity and build a plant to make fertilisers and agro-chemicals.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:03 PM   #2
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Food production: State fights to stem hunger, donor dependency

Kenya took a significant step towards freeing itself from donor dependency and erratic rain-fed agriculture.
She shifted her energies to reviving stalled irrigation programmes and declaring total war on depletion of water catchment areas as — all around the nation — the ugly and devastating effect of current food, water and energy crises bit harder.
Today President Kibaki, who on Monday launched the Sh2 billion National Economic Stimulus Programme on food in Hola, will lead Kenya’s cry to the world for Sh24 billion emergency food aid to avert human and animal deaths.
If it pulls through and should the new programmes hold unlike the glamorous ones before, Kenya would have unleashed its own agrarian revolution — as well a modest green revolution going beyond Mau Forest pending evictions.
President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, VP Kalonzo Musyoka and other leaders admire the fish catch during a tour of Hola Irrigation scheme in Tana River District, on Monday. Photo: Maarufu Mohamed/Standard]
President Kibaki directed the Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment, Finance and Internal Security to immediately take action to stop the destruction of the country’s forest cover to end Kenya’s decline into hunger and food insecurity.

Most importantly, these will include revival of key irrigation schemes, securing the country’s forests and wetlands and reforestation to make the country food secure.
Speaking during the launch of the stimulus programme the President said human invasion and wanton destruction of forests had worsened the food crisis in the country.
He also said planting of eucalyptus trees, and interference with river basins had led to the drying up of many of the rivers that watered livestock and kept irrigation projects alive, thus worsening the situation.
Long-term vision
The ambitious plan is to increase the land area under irrigation from the current 120,000 hectares to 400,000 hectares — using available water resources, but with a long-term vision to achieve the full potential of 1.3 million hectares.
The plan will call for increased investment in water storage, and will also require the State to secure Kenya’s key water towers in Mau Forest Complex and the Aberdares, a thorny political matter.
The directive also implies Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have closed ranks on removing squatters from Mau and other water towers.
Indeed, Kibaki declared the coalition had agreed to work together.
"As Kenyans can see, the programme we are launching today is part of an overall strategy of ensuring food security for Kenya within five years through irrigated agriculture," said Kibaki.
"We are determined to ensure Kenya becomes a food surplus nation. With the experience the country has gone through in the last three years, it is time for Kenyans to end their state of denial and accept that climate change is here with us," he said.
The stimulus programme seeks to inspire ‘scientific’ and ‘modern’ agriculture, and increase employment opportunities in production, processing and marketing of maize and rice produce. This will reduce dependence on huge food imports that squander valuable foreign exchange.
An additional 40,000 hectares would be irrigated to produce 370,000 bags of maize and 600,000 bags of rice by February next year.
While launching the Hola Irrigation Scheme at Hola Stadium, Kibaki promised other similar schemes, among them Tana Delta, Perkerra, Mwea, Ahero, West Kano, and Bunyala would also be put under maize and rice crops by October.
Since their initiation — before a number of them collapsed or shrunk in production capacity — Mwea had been famous for its paddy rice.
Tana Delta River irrigation schemes were known for the production of seed cotton, Perkerra for onions and chillies, and Ahero (within the Nyando River watershed) for production of rice and sugarcane.
Bunyala scheme, within Nzoia River watershed was known for paddy rice while West and South West Kano (Lake Victoria watershed) was renown for paddy rice and sugar cane.
Raila said the solution to consistent food shortage lay in irrigation and announced that the Government would buy livestock, which are succumbing to drought to minimise losses to farmers at uniform prices.
Livestock production
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka said the Government would build more dams along River Tana to expand irrigation.
"We need to expand irrigation to cover the whole country instead of depending on rain-fed agriculture," said Kalonzo.
Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said the Government would soon distribute Sh20 billion within one year as an economic stimulant factored in the last budget.
The funds would cover construction of markets, Jua kali shades, schools and health centres in constituencies. "I want to assure Kenyans that it is possible to make this funds available within a year," Uhuru said.
The Hola project is to be undertaken by 900 farmers and the National Youth Service. The Sh500 million project would put 2,800 acres under crop production.
Agriculture Minister William Ruto said the total area under irrigation would be expanded over 400,000 hectares in the next five years.
The President said an additional 40,000 hectares would be put under irrigation to produce 370,000 bags of maize and 600,000 bags of rice by February next year.


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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:05 PM   #3
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State outlines plans to irrigate 20,000 acres

The Government and Italy will put more than 20,000 acres of land under irrigation along the Sabaki river in Malindi District.

Regional Development Minister Fred Gumo, also announced a hydropower project would be installed at Mwache in Kinango District.

Mr Gumo spoke when he inspected projects run by the Coast Development Authority and the Italian Government in Malindi, yesterday.

He regretted most development authorities had failed to meet their targets in the last decade due to lack of funds and financial impropriety.

Among the projects he inspected is the Malindi District Hospital X-ray wing, which has been dormant for two years.

Others were Ngomeni primary and secondary schools, under construction at a cost of Sh27 million.

The Westlands MP noted the Sabaki River had enough water to support irrigation. This, he said, would ensure food security.

"The river has the capacity to provide food for more than a million people if its waters are put under irrigation," he said.

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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:13 PM   #4
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Japan earmarks Sh309m for dam project

Japan will spend Sh309 million to construct dams in a bid to control flooding in Nyando District.

Nyando MP Fred Outa said the money would be channeled through the Japan International Cooperation Agency - JICA.

Mr Outa said water stored in the dams would be used for irrigation and domestic purposes.

"The perennial floods have led to crop failure. The dams would give residents a lifeline," said Outa.

He added more than 20,000 people face starvation due to drought.

He added rice farmers would benefit from the irrigation programme. Outa added residents would also diversify from sugarcane and rice farming to food crops such as vegetables, tomatoes, maize and beans.

Area study

He added JICA experts had done a study in the area ahead of the dam construction. "The experts report would outline how many dams would be set up," he added.

The MP told The Standard that the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) committee members would monitor the projects to ensure accountability.

The MP said President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Japan Ambassador to Kenya Shigeo Iwatani had confirmed the construction of the dams were among projects Japan was funding.

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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:15 PM   #5
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State, donors to spend Sh4 billion on Bura, Hola irrigation repairs (another source)

The Government will spend Sh4.2 billion to rehabilitate Hola and Bura irrigation schemes in Tana River to boost food security.

The programme will be implemented under the National Stimulus Project on food production under irrigation.

Ministries of Water, Agriculture, Youth and Northern Kenya Development will oversee it.

The Hola and Bura schemes have an irrigation potential of 8,750 and 13,750 acres, respectively while developed land is only 1,200 and 5,000 acres.

The rehabilitation will be jointly funded by the Government, Kuwait, the Organisation of Oil Producing Countries and the Arab Bank for Economic Development for Africa.

Reconstruction of the scheme, which collapsed in 1989, has begun.

During an inspection of the works yesterday, Water Minister Charity Ngilu regretted Kenya suffered food insecurity while its agricultural potential was under exploited.

She said the situation was made grim by prolonged drought.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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Food security takes centre stage with major incentives (from another source)

Food security takes centre stage with major incentives



By John Oyuke

The Government has unveiled a stimulus package to reduce reliance on rain-fed agriculture and enhance food production.

Finance Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta said the bold move would mark the beginning of a journey to attain food security in the country so the Kenyans never go hungry again.

The new measures would focus on mechanisation, irrigation, use of hybrid seeds and water harvesting.

Part of the plan is establishing efficient storage and marketing systems and application of scientific farming methods.

As a first step, the Government has allocated substantial resources to ministries responsible for agriculture, irrigation and regional development.

In addition, it allocated Sh3 billion toward rehabilitation and expansion of irrigable land under Bura, Hola, Tarda, Wei Wei and Kerio Valley.

Uhuru said from the investments the Government expects to harvest about one million bags of rice and maize by the end of December this year.

"As we scale up resources toward irrigable agriculture, we are confident that this great Nation will emerge as a net exporter of food by 2012," he said.

Agriculture is the mainstay of the country’s economy and represents 24 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about a third of its produce is exported.

However, production in the sector recorded a significant drop, declining by 5.1 per cent last year compared to a two per cent in 2007.

The decline was mainly due to low production of food crops owing to the disruption of agricultural activities during the post-election violence, unfavourable weather and high cost of agricultural inputs, particularly fuel and fertilizer.

Further, the failure of the short rains between October and November last year resulted in a sharp decline in domestic food production, particularly maize.

New plans

To promote agricultural sector and protect wheat farmers from cheap imports, the Government undertook to raise the current import duty rate on wheat from 10 per cent or $50 (Sh4,000) whichever is higher to a rate of 25 percent.

To support dairy farming sub-sector through further incentives, Uhuru announced new plans to grant an exemption of import duty and to zero rate for value added tax (VAT), heat insulated milk tanks, to help dairy farmers in preserving their milk.

He also said the Government would also enhance the national food reserves through encouragement of individuals and groups to store their produce.

Uhuru proposed to zero rate VAT on vatable supplies for the construction of grain silos, in addition to refrigerated trucks.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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State to revive stalled water projects

The Government will revive and complete stalled water projects to boost food security.

Agriculture Assistant Minister Japheth Kareke Mbiuki says the perennial food shortage was due to farmers’ over reliance on the unpredictable rains.

He said the government would ensure that irrigation was adopted so that enough food for both domestic and commercial use was available.

The Assistant Minister said the stalled Mwimbi/Gitije Water project in his Nithi constituency which has stalled for decades, and which is aimed to provide irrigation water to thousands of families will be revived at a cost of Sh60 million.

He called on farmers benefiting from such government initiatives to exploit the opportunities and engage in horticultural agriculture.

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Old September 4th, 2009, 09:51 PM   #8
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Israel to revive irrigation scheme

Israel to revive irrigation scheme

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Liberman (left) and Water minister Charity Ngilu exchange a memorandum of agreement on Friday. Photo/LIZ MUTHONI
Israel will rehabilitate an irrigation and research project it started at Kibwezi, but was later abandoned by Kenyans who were managing it.

The rehabilitation of Kibwezi Dryland Farming Research Centre is one of the projects that will be undertaken by the Israelis after the signing of several agreements between their government and Kenya on Friday.

“They have come back to help us revive it and that for us is a terrible indictment. Why did we let it collapse in the first place?” said Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula.

Kenya will be hoping to learn from the Israelis, who are able to sustain their food supply through irrigation despite the Middle East country being a virtual desert that receives little rain.

Kenya recently launched the National Economic Stimulus Project on Food Production, which seeks to vastly increase the land under irrigation. It is under this programme that collapsed irrigation schemes are being revived.

No new schemes are being created as the government seeks to bring back to life Bura, Hola, Perkerra, Tana Delta, Kibwezi and Ahero schemes, which were established either during colonial times or in the early years of independence.

They, however, stalled due to corruption, mismanagement and political interference.

Kibwezi was established with the help of the technologically advanced Middle East state that depends on a lake that is smaller than Lake Naivasha for most of its water needs.

The agreements were signed in Nairobi on Friday on the second day of a three-day visit by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Mr Wetang’ula said Israel will also give Kenya technical support in areas such as water management, recycling, purification, and irrigation in dry areas.

Other projects to be undertaken by Israel include the rehabilitation of a unit at Nyanza Provincial Hospital in Kisumu.

Trade between Kenya and Israel was worth $155 million (Sh11.8 billion) in 2008 but 84 per cent of this is in favour of the Middle East country. Kenya exports fish and coffee to Israel.

Speaking on Friday at his Harambee House office, where he met Mr Liberman, who is also Israeli Foreign Affairs minister, President Kibaki said the agreement would provide an opportunity for Kenyans to access technical expertise in irrigation and rain water harvesting.

“The technical support in irrigation and rain water harvesting will go a long way towards ensuring that we have sufficient water for all our needs and boost our agricultural production,” he said.

The Kenya Government is focusing on irrigation as a long-term measure to boost agricultural production and reduce reliance on rain-fed farming, he added.

The Head of State briefed the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister on the food situation in the country and the various interventions the government was undertaking to cushion Kenyans from the effects of the ongoing drought.

Meanwhile, Water minister Charity Ngilu on Friday announced the launch of the irrigation project in Kibwezi, which will cost Sh8 billion.
The minister accused some politicians of trying to sabotage her efforts in addressing water problems in the region.

“Some people are trying to get credit which is not due to them; there are people who keep commenting on everything that my ministry is doing. They sneak in when they get word that I am headed to a particular place to spearhead a water project. There are better ways of seeking fame,” she said.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 12:35 AM   #9
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Minister roots for more investment in irrigation

Water Minister Charity Ngilu has called for immediate intensive tree-planting in the Mau Complex to restore water sources.

Ngilu said illegal logging is still going on as debate rages on how to move the settlers from the water tower.

The minister said the formation of a secretariat to oversee the removal of settlers from Mau forest should not hinder measures to contain illegal logging.

She spoke in her Kitui Central constituency during the commissioning of the Katitika water project.

Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph and Kitui Central DC Joshua Chepchieng’ attended the function.

Ngilu said her ministry has commenced construction of Umaa, Chemusus, Kiserian, and Baldasa dams to harvest rainwater.

More priority

The minister said the Government has not invested adequately in irrigation, which she said should be given more priority in budgetary allocation.

"We need to learn from recurrent drought and inject more money in irrigation to guarantee food security," said Ngilu.

The Safaricom chief said his firm had entered into partnership with pump manufacturer, Grundfos Lifelink, to enable rural communities access safe water and pay for it through M-Pesa.

Joseph said the partnership is in line with the company’s commitment to supporting worthy causes within communities and deploying appropriate technologies to solve challenges in communities.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #10
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Irrigation projects to cost Sh1.9 billion

Nine small-scale horticultural irrigation schemes have been launched to benefit arid districts at a cost of Sh1.9 billion.

Agriculture Minister William Ruto said the "overall goal of the project is to contribute to poverty reduction and enhanced food security in rural Kenya".

The initiative, he added, will benefit 4.5 million households in Eastern and Rift Valley provinces.

Mr Ruto was speaking when commissioning vehicles and motorcycles for the project at his office in Nairobi, yesterday.

Household incomes

He said the project would cover 2,886 hectares and intends to "increase household incomes of small-scale horticultural producers through increased production and enhanced marketing".

The minister said the project would be funded by the African Development Bank.

It will be managed by a steering committee chaired by the Agriculture PS Romano Kiome besides co-ordinating multi-sectoral committees and units at district level.

Currently, the targeted irrigation schemes are operating on an area of 1,173 hectares of irrigated land, which the project seeks to expand in the districts of Kathiani (Kabaa Irrigation Scheme), Mwala (Kauti Scheme), Narok (Mosiro), Rongai (Lari Wendani), Kajiado (Ngurumani), Loitokitok (Namelok), Marakwet (Kabono/Kapkamak), Mbeere Kathiga/Gacheru ) and Meru South (Mbogoni).

Ruto said the project was part of new policy to increase production in marginal lands through irrigation.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #11
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Ngilu Tells of Plan to Build 16 Big Dams

Nairobi — The Kenyan Government plans to build 16 large dams in the next 10 years to address the perennial water shortage in the country, Water minister Charity Ngilu said on Saturday.

The minister said the planned dams with a capacity of 405 billion litres will cost Sh59 billion. Speaking on a visit to Chemususu dam in Koibatek District, Mrs Ngilu said Kenya is the most water-deficient country in the region.

But she said the government was determined to change this state of affairs. She revealed that her ministry had already prepared a water storage strategy which will soon be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval.

The stored water will be used for agricultural irrigation, domestic use, and livestock and for power generation, the minister said.

Noting that 75 per cent of rain water goes to waste every year, Mrs Ngilu said mechanisms were being put in place to ensure runoff water is stored. "I am shocked because water starts here and ends up in River Nile where Egypt uses it for irrigation," she said.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200910260425.html
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Old November 10th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #12
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Kisumu set to run prepaid water trial

Consumers in Kisumu town and its environs may soon be able to pay for the commodity in advance as the first prepaid billing system in the sector comes under pilot in a year’s time.

Under the system meant to curb payment default and ease administration costs, residents will purchase water to the value of cards that will be loaded onto their prepaid meters.

Water is sold in the town at Sh50 for 1000 litres of water and consumers will be able to buy prepaid cards based on their estimated consumption.

The managing director of the Lake Victoria Water Services Board Michael Ochieng’ said that the service would be rolled out in some estates in the town on a pilot basis.

Other areas that are targeted during this initial rollout include the middle class sections of the town and water kiosks in informal settlements.

“We will use this to gauge the response before scaling up the service to the rest of the town,” Mr Ochieng’ said.

Illegal connections

The prepaid service, which will be managed by the town’s water service provider, Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO), is expected to be rolled out after the town’s water supply is stabilised.

He said he expected the company to “double profits within a year of introducing the system.”

It will be introduced under the second phase of the Sh3 billion Kisumu Water Supply and Sanitation Project funded by the French Development Agency that kicks off at the beginning of next year. The component that will introduce the prepaid water payment system will cost Sh50 million.

The project, as well a series of other interventions, is intended to increase water supply to 92 million litres by 2012.

KIWASCO managing director David Onyango said that at present, water supply in Kisumu is 23 million litres against a demand of 50 million litres.

In addition, an estimated 60 per cent of the water that is released from the water treatment plant cannot be accounted for due to leaks and illegal connections.

The company is in talks with mobile money transfer service providers to facilitate payments through mobile phones.

The company is also planning to introduce e-billing to inject efficiency into the system and boost revenue collection.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 06:18 AM   #13
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State in Sh200m water plan

Ms Ruth Nzioka, a resident of Mukuru kwa Njenga, has never known the comfort of using tap water for three decades.
Her’s is the fate of the urban poor, who rely on water vendors to supply the precious liquid.
But the agony of paying high tariffs to water vendors is about to end, thanks to the Government’s Sh200m innovative plan for next year.
The State’s move is courtesy of the National Water Services Strategy 2007-2015, that identifies lack of water as a key problem in urban areas, with low-income earners exposed to high tariffs charged by water vendors.
A water kiosk still under construction in Mavoko. Low cost technology wil ensure adequate supply of water to the poor. Photo: John Oyuke/Standard
The plan targets about 1.4 million urban poor with innovative water supply and sanitation solutions over the next four years.

The money will come from the Water Services Trust Fund, (WSTF) a state corporation, established for that purpose.
Eligible Water Services Providers (WSPs) in the country’s Water Services Boards have up to December 15 to apply for the funds, under the parastatal’s Urban Programme Concept (UPC).
The UPC is a mechanism developed to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability in the delivery of results through sustainable technologies such as water kiosk in urban poor areas.
The Ministry of Water and Irrigation, together with the European Union (EU) and the German Development Bank (KfW) are implementing another Sh1.7 billion countrywide projects through the WSTF.
solution
Water Kiosks, where formal water providers supply safe water at affordable prices, have proven to be an appropriate and efficient solution, providing water to a large number of residents in urban low-income areas.
Implementation of this low-cost technology is facilitated through multi-donor funds that provide pro-poor funding to commercial utilities, implementation support and monitoring.
Experts say the concept is proving popular in Kenya, since existing standpipes are poorly maintained especially after being vandalised.
Early this year, the WSTF made the first call for proposals, which forecast to finance 15 of the UPC projects at an estimated cost of Sh100 million to provide access to quality water to at least 100,000 residents of the low-income areas mainly in western Kenya.The Fund’s Chief Executive, Jacqueline Musyoki said the proposals have already been completed and implementation is on in cooperation with the water services providers in the area of Lake Victoria North Water Services Board (LVNWSB).
Ms Musyoki said WSTF is implementing the projects with the water services providers in Eldowas, Nzowasco, Amatsi and Kapsabet under LVNWSB.
Speaking at the launch of the concept in the country last month, German Ambassador to Kenya, Mrs Margit Hellwig, said local water sector institutions will now ensure sustainability of the projects for the benefit of the poor.
The operators will also earn to make the kiosks attractive.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 04:43 AM   #14
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Hola scheme gets first harvest in 20 years

http://www.nation.co.ke/business/new...z/-/index.html

more should be done to achieve food security
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