Water shortage hampers completion of airport projects
26 May 2016, 11:02
Isiolo - Commissioning of the KES 2.7 billion Isiolo International Airport may be delayed following lack of water.
Construction works at the International Airport is near completion and is set for its official launch soon.
It is yet to be determined how the airport will operate without water if residents of Maili Saba continue frustrating the water project expected to serve the airport.
Isiolo County Commissioner, George Natembeya said the Isiolo Water Project Phase Two that is expected to help the area cope with the increased population as a result of the LAPPSET and other flagship projects that include the airport, is facing a hitch.
He said the mega airport project is facing a water crisis that was standing on the way of its opening.
Natembeya said the KES 1 billion Water Project that is funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) is 99 percent complete, but noted that some large scale farmers from a neighbouring county had directed water from a stream that should feed the project into their farms for irrigation.
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He said already KES 800 million had been pumped into the scheme.
“The only part of the project remaining is the connection of the water pipes to the intakes at Kithima and Lugusu, both of which are in Buuri Sub-county in Meru County,” said Natembeya.
He said the Isiolo Water project Phase Two was a national government programme, and lamented that some cartels of large scale farmers from a neighbouring County were frustrating its completion.
He said the farmers were inciting the area residents to oppose the project.
“Although there are a few people allowed by Water Resources Management Authority to use Isiolo River for irrigation, some unscrupulous large scale farmers pump the water to their farms at night. These are the ones inciting locals to oppose the project for selfish interests,” he said.
The area residents had taken to the streets protesting the construction of the intake and destroyed pipes that had been laid by the contractor.
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