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Last season's rice harvest left to rot in Ahero

16 April 2013, 11:53 Oduor Omondi

Rice farmers in Nyando, Kisumu County, continue to incur losses estimated to run into millions of shillings as last season's rice crop kept in poor conditions at Ahero National Irrigation Board continue to rot.

The neglect at the rice drying and storage facility has not only been attributed to failure by the local National Irrigation Board top brass but also persistent wrangles threatening to balloon into a full scale conflict.

It emerged that elections held on April 3, 2013 at the facility, presided over by Muhoroni District Cooperative Officer E. L. Tolo elected, Moses Wayumba as the new Chairman, Sylvanus Munga as the Vice Chairman, Clakson Abiero as Secretary and Ben Odhiambo as Treasurer.

However, the former office bearers were only two people; Laban Akeyo (Chairman) and Mathews Ogallo Dodo (Secretary) who sidelined everyone else and took up all the responsibilities.

The titanic battle for supremacy has seen the former officials lock out the new team by refusing to hand over the office.

Ahero NIB storage facility has a storage capacity of approximately 80 000 bags but in the last harvest, this was over-stretched prompting some farmers to sell their produce at a throw-away-price for lack of storage space to curb losses.

Ahero NIB is now over-grown with grass with the plastic sacs containing the rice yet to be milled torn, pouring most of the produce on the dirty floor without any hope of anyone moving in to clear the mess.

Attempts to seek audience with Ahero NIB Manager P. N. Langat proved futile as he was said to be outside the country on official duty.

Inside sources confided that Ahero NIB drying and storage facility receives annual allocation of KES 1.5million for maintenance but the funds usually go to line the pockets of a few corrupt people.

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