His Excellency Hon. William Samoei Ruto, PhD., C.G.H. President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-In-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces officially commissioned Mweru Umoja Irrigation Development Project on January 27, 2024.

He was accompanied by the Deputy President H.E Hon. Rigathi Gachagua, EGH, Meru County Governor, Hon. Kawira Mwangaza, Meru County Senator Hon. Kathuri Murungi, CS Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Hon. Mithika Linturi, EGH, PS State Department for Forestry, Mr. Gitonga Mugambi, EBS, Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah and other leaders from National and County Government.

The President was received by the CS Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Mr. Zachariah M. Njeru EGH, PS State Department for Irrigation, CPA Ephantus Kimotho, CBS, Chairman of the Board of Directors at National Irrigation Authority, Eng. Gibert Maluki, Ag. Irrigation Secretary Eng. Vincent Kabuti, OGW and other Authority officials led by the CEO, Eng. Charles Muasya, MBS.

The President said the Government is investing in irrigation to enhance household food security and increase export and economic growth. He challenged the farmers to put their best foot forward to utilize the installed irrigation infrastructure and produce food for the region and beyond.

The 500 acre project is situated in Meru County, South Imenti Constituency, Igoji East Ward and is fed by Mutonga River. It has 1000 farmers directly benefiting 2,500 persons.The President appreciated the displayed farm produce which included: dragon fruit, tomatoes, cassava, sweet potatoes, passion fruits and Khat(Muguka).

Mweru Umoja Irrigation Development Project construction commenced in May 13, 2019 and was completed on November 13, 2022. Its defects liability period ended in 12th November 2023.

The project’s components included:

i. Intake works
ii. Sedimentation basin
iii. Installation of 355mm diameter – 14km conveyance,
iv. 8.5km Sub-mains and
v. 45.5km of lateral pipelines.

Based on the soil suitability and farmer selection, the agricultural enterprises within the project include Bananas, tomatoes, French beans, Sweet potatoes and Kales whose estimated average gross margins of KES 255,000.00 per acre per year. Using the average gross margins in a year, the expected revenues are KES. 127.5 million per year (KES 127,500.00 per farmer per year) giving a return period of just one and half years.

In Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Embu Counties, the Government through the Authority has invested about KES. 6.82Billion putting about 35,000 acres under irrigation. These projects directly benefit about 46,000 farmers and almost 400,000 persons indirectly. They have further created about 175,000 jobs directly and with a huge contribution to the economy.